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Somalia’s international partners urge political leaders to agree on poll timeline

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The international community on Saturday called on Somali leaders to iron out outstanding issues from the previous consultative meetings and agree on the short election timeline to implement the pre-election deal in the new round of talks slated for Monday.

The partners including the African Union, EU and the UN among other countries said government and federal member state leaders due to attend the Feb. 15 summit should engage in frequent consultations with other stakeholders to inform the deliberations.

“We believe it is vital that the discussions initiated in Dhusamareb be brought quickly to a successful conclusion in this next round of dialogue,” said the partners in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.

The statement comes after President Mohamed Farmajo who is seeking another second four-year term has called for a consultative meeting of heads of federal governments on Feb. 15 to help break the deadlock on the electoral process.

Both Puntland and Jubbaland have welcomed the Monday talks but proposed that they be held in Mogadishu to ensure the participation of stakeholders and the international community.

But the international partners said they do not believe that the question of the location justifies any delay to this critically important summit.

“We urge the Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders, in a constructive spirit, to resolve the small number of issues outstanding from the Dhusamareb talks and agree to a short election timeline necessary to implement the September 17 Agreement,” the partners said.

They said it is crucial that the discussions initiated in Dhusamareb be brought quickly to a successful conclusion in this next round of dialogue.

“Now is the time to avoid unilateral actions and proceed quickly to agree on the implementation of the September 17 electoral process to choose Somalia’s leaders,” said the partners.

The composition of the electoral team and sharp differences between Farmajo and Jubbaland leader Ahmed Madobe over the deployment of troops in the Gedo region are among the contentious issues.

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Politics

Supreme Court of Somalia to hear election-related cases

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Somali judicial officers at a past training
   

The Supreme Court of Somalia announced it will hear cases related to elections. Chief Justice Bashe Yusuf Ahmed said it would be illegal for the federal and state governments not to allow the courts to adjudicate over election cases.

“The Supreme Court is ready to hear any appeal that arises from an administrative decision made by the electoral commissions,” Bashe said.

Bashe was speaking at a judicial conference held in Mogadishu.

The Horn of Africa nation is preparing for parliamentary and peesidential elections in September and October respectively.

Somalia has no constitutional court but there is an electoral dispute resolution committee.

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Race for Villa Somalia

Former foreign minister joins race for Villa Somalia

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Former Foreign minister Fawzia Adam becomes the firs female candidate to announce her candidature for Somalia presidency. Fawzia, who became Somalia’s first and only woman foreign minister and Deputy Prime Minister in 2012, said she is joining the race for Villa Somalia to change the course of the country’s politics. More than 30 other candidates have expressed their interest for the top job. She leads the National Democratic Party.

“My sole aim is to breath a new lease of life into Somalia. Our political ideology and believes are at the heart and soul of our political trajectory in deciding the best way Forward for my nation,” Fawzia said.

“Our people are known for their dynamism, resilience and fruitful thinking when it comes to business. If they are encouraged, the country will surely get rapid development and investment,” she added.

She is running on an anti-corruption platform. Fawzia hails from Somaliland. The Horn of Africa nation will hold presidential elections on October 10.

As foreign minister, Fawzia was instrumental in Somalia’s quest to recover state properties that had been frozen by foreign administrations, institutions and firms after the collapse of Somalia’s central government in 1991 in order to prevent unauthorized use,  and began a formal assessment and recovery process of Somali national assets, which include ships and planes that are believed to be held in Italy, Germany and Yemen.

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Politics

Farmajo congratulation Abiy Ahmed on his election victory

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President Farmajo (right) and Ethiopian Premier Abiy Aed at a past event
   

Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo has congratulated Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed whose party won the just-concluded elections in Ethiopia.

Somalia will continue to work with the government of Abiy Ahmed to further strengthen bilateral relations and benefit peoples of the two countries and the wider region, Farmajo said in a statement. 

“I warmly congratulate PM Abiy Ahmed on regaining a strong mandate from the people of Ethiopia,” Farmaajo said.

Abiy’s new Prosperity Party won 410 out of 436 seats, according to electoral body.

Ethiopia has thousands of troops in Somalia under Amisom, the African Union Mission in Somalia, fighting al Shabab group. Since assuming office in 2018, Abiy has been supportive of the Somali Federal Government unlike his predecessors who supported regional administrations against the government in Mogadishu.

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