Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo arrived in Dhusamareb on Saturday afternoon for consultative talks with Federal Member States (FMS) leaders. The president will chair the Consultative forum.
The President was greeted at Ugaas Noor Airport by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and FMS leaders including the President of Galmudug State, Ahmed Abdi Kaariye and his Deputy, Ali Dahir Eid, respective Presidents of the South West and Hirshabelle states, Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed, and Mohamed Abdi Waare, Speaker of the Galmudug Parliament Mohamed Nur Ga’al and his Deputies, as well as Members of the Federal Houses and Council of Ministers.
Farmajo’s arrival comes nearly a week after Somalia’s regional leaders issued a five-point communique, with one of the points being an invitation to Prime Minister Khaire – who arrived in Dhusamareb on Tuesday – and President Farmajo.
At the forefront of the negotiations will be the electoral model that will be implemented in the upcoming national elections. The FMS leaders have jointly agreed that one-person-one-vote is not feasible in the limited time the government has left on its mandate and the regional leaders have ruled out the possibility of an extension.
Parliament’s term will end on December 27th, while the president’s mandate expires on February 8th, 2021.
Halima Yarey, the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) chairperson told parliament on June 27th that the commission needed a minimum of 13 months to prepare the infrastructure and logistics necessary for universal suffrage.
Both the Prime Minister and the President both backed a cabinet resolution last week to hold elections on time.
Relations between the FMS leaders and Somalia’s federal government have been frosty. The meeting in Dhusamareb will be the first time in two years that the two sides have sat at the table together.
Farmajo has made political concessions as of late to facilitate this meeting, including recognizing Ahmed Madobe’s election victory and meeting the regional officials in Dhusamareb as opposed to Mogadishu, where he initially planned.