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Somali opposition form new alliance with two regional government leaders as electoral gridlock persists

Thursday March 18, 2021

MOGADISHU (HOL) -The opposition in Somalia Thursday announced a new alliance with two Federal Member State leaders who are fiercely opposed to President Mohamed Farmaajo in what is likely to open a new battle as prospects for a negotiated settlement for elections become more elusive.

The Council of Presidential Candidates (CPC) which comprises 15 presidential candidates announced the new alliance with Jubbaland and Puntland leaders following a meeting at the precincts of the Halane compound which houses the UN in Mogadishu.

Senate speaker Abdi Hashi, another political rival of Farmaajo and who represents the pro-union leadership from Somaliland is also part of the new National Salvation Council. He is the chair of the alliance.

The NSC said it resolved to unite after they realised that Farmaajo was a ‘hindrance’ to a political settlement to allow the country to go into elections.

“The leaders have been meeting for some time to reach a consensus on how to hold free and fair elections in the country, and it is clear that the outgoing President, Mr. Mohamned Abdullahi Farmajo, is a hindrance,” the NSC said in a statement.

The Council which did not set out conditions for Farmaajo said it will ‘work for a peaceful and mutually acceptable election.” The new alliance also said it will work to ‘prevent the country from failing politically and leading to delays in the reconstruction process.’

The formation of the new alliance comes ahead of talks between Farmaajo and the Federal Member States leaders aimed at unlocking the political stalemate that has persisted for several months.

Both Ahmed Madobe (Jubbaland) and his Puntland counterpart Abdullahi Deni have demanded that the CPC take part in the talks but the Federal Government has rebuffed the demands noting the next meeting will only focus on endorsing the technical committee report presented last month by a joint technical committee.

The Federal Government convened a meeting for the technical committee today in Mogadishu but was only attended by HirShabelle, Galmudug, South West and Banaadir Regional Administration. Jubbaland and Puntland skipped the meeting.


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