Two states in Somalia denounce decision to delay elections, want vote held “immediately”

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Two federal member states allied with Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo on Tuesday denounced the decision made by federal parliament that grants it and the Somali leader a two-year mandate.

The two states, Galmudug and Hirshabelle said in a joint statement they are opposed to any form of extension, and now want polls conducted “immediately”, based on 17th September agreement.

Tensions have soared in the Horn of African country over the failure to hold elections and the legitimacy of President Farmajo’s mandate following the expiry of his constitutional term on 8 February 2021.

The federal government cites an October 2020 parliamentary resolution permitting the President to remain, but this is contested by others.

Recent clashes between pro-government forces and opposition forces were witnessed in the capital, Mogadishu, renewing calls for dialogue to solve the political crisis.

A Reuters report says residents of Mogadishu fled some neighbourhoods on Tuesday fearing fresh clashes between rival factions in Somalia’s security forces.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday said he is deeply concerned about the recent armed clashes in Mogadishu.

He reiterated calls for all Somali stakeholders to refrain from further violence and resolve their differences through dialogue and compromise.

Analysts say the current political crisis threatens to further deepen divisions and uncertainty in the Horn of Africa nation and will distract it from the fight against al-Shabab, in which thousands of civilians have died in more than a decade.

Somalia’s parliamentary and presidential elections took place in late 2016 and early 2017 through a system of indirect suffrage.

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