Somali PM Roble visits Kismayu,key elections

Somali PM Roble visits Kismayu ahead of key elections

With days left for indirect elections to kickstart in Somalia, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble made a two-day trip to Kismayu in Jubaland federal state in the southern region. Reportedly, the trip was aimed at bringing peace to the conflicting communities in the Gedo region and discuss the electoral process with political leaders in the region.

“The aim of the trip was to solve the problem associated with the holding of the indirect election in Gedo region, particularly in Garbaharrey town,” PM Roble said.

Accompanied by senior federal government officials, the Prime Minister was welcomed by Jubaland President Ahmed Mohamed Islam Madobe and other members of the state authorities at the Kismayu airport.

Since the re-appointment of Madobe as the president of Jubaland in August 2019, the state and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) have been at loggerheads over the control of the Gedo region, the epicenter of the country’s worst electoral dispute.

Furthermore, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and Jubaland’s leader Madobe have been engaged in a political rift after the FGS sent troops to support the Gedo administration in opposition to Madobe’s authority. Earlier, Madobe had accused President Farmajo of attempting to set up his preferred candidates to the Jubaland government against his rule.

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The prolonging dispute has affected the efforts to hold elections in the region. After months of political deadlock due to differences between the government and the opposition, Somali leaders agreed on holding the long-delayed elections in the country.

As per the timetable announced earlier this week, elections for the upper house of parliament will take place on July 25 and the lower house will go to polls between August 10 and September 10. Finally, the presidential elections will be held on October 10.

The electoral dispute resolution committee has also elected Abdullahi Abyan Nur as the new chair of the commission, who is charged to ensure smooth operations of the polls in the country. During discussions about the elections, political leaders had agreed on PM Roble leading the exercise, pointing out that he has shown impartiality and commitment towards the process.

Last month, President Farmaajo reversed the extension of his mandate to two more years in response to violent clashes against the move. He further ordered the prime minister to chalk out plans to hold elections in the country.