Top opposition candidates in upcoming Somalia’s elections will from Saturday [today] hold talks over the disagreements that have arisen in the manner which elections should be conducted in the country, with just over few weeks to the start of the exercise, Garowe Online reports.
Already, the team has rejected a list of electoral committee members that was approved by Villa Somalia, arguing that most members had links to the National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA], a claim which the presidency has vehemently disputed in the recent statements.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble met the members in question and asked them to immediately start preparing for the upcoming polls, which are slated for December 2020. However, a number of states are yet to send their representatives.
But leading opposition leaders will hold a crucial meeting on Saturday which would last for three days in which among others, they will settle on the appropriate action to be taken for the sake of consensus and stability. Initially, the team had endorsed the clan-based electoral system after the government failed to honour universal suffrage polls.
Among those who have already arrived include former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, Abdikarim Hussein Guled and Abdirahman Abdishakur, the leader of Wadajir party. Others who are expected include former Presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
“If there is no consensus on the electoral process, there will be no consensus on the resulting government,” said former Somalia PM Khaire, adding “We must learn a lesson from the unrest in Ethiopia that resulted from the postponed elections”
In his speech on Thursday in Mogadishu, Guled, who has also declared interest in succeeding President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, accused Deputy Prime Minister Khalid Gulaid of “signalling” voter fraud, adding that “we will win in the 1st round of the February election”.
Opposition teams have been accusing Villa Somalia of plotting to rig the elections in favour of Farmajo, who is battling to cling to power in Somalia. The presidency has often accused the opposition of mischief, even amid pressure from the international community for transparent elections.