MOGADISHU (SONNA)– Somalia’s international partners* are deeply concerned about the continuing impasse in implementing the electoral model agreed on 17 September by President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmajo and Federal Member State leaders.
We urge Somalia’s top political stakeholders to demonstrate leadership in the interest of the nation and to quickly resolve outstanding issues of implementation through dialogue and compromise, so that a credible electoral process can proceed as soon as possible.
The partners appreciate recent initiatives. In particular, they welcome the visit of Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble to Galmudug and Puntland; the discussions among a wide range of senior Somali leaders hosted in Garowe by Puntland President Said Deni; and the outreach by Galmudug President Ahmed Abdi Karie ‘Qor Qor,’ who conveyed proposals from Garowe to Federal Government of Somalia leaders and other political figures.
The partners note that the 17 September Agreement was endorsed by the Federal Government, all Federal Member States and both houses of Parliament, and was also welcomed by many Presidential aspirants. Notwithstanding the disappointment of the partners and many Somalis that this model falls far short of ‘one-person, one-vote’ elections, the 17 September Agreement remains the sole acceptable basis for the 2021 elections.
There can be no re-opening of the 17 September Agreement or the creation of an alternative or parallel process. Broadly inclusive understandings on its implementation are needed to ensure the credibility of this process.
This would be in line with the agreed commitment from the Somali Partnership Forum. Partners would welcome an accelerated effort to resolve, as a matter of urgency, remaining issues and conclude such understandings in the coming days, so that elections could begin later this month.
The partners urge Somalia’s leaders to respect and fully implement the 30 per cent women’s quota in parliament, as they committed to in the 17 September Agreement.
The international partners reiterate that any threat or use of violence is not acceptable. They also emphasize the importance of free and open political space in which candidates are able to express their views peacefully and the media are able to operate without restriction.
The spirit of dialogue and compromise which led to the signing of the 17 September Agreement must be sustained to move the electoral process forward.