Somali leaders meet in Mogadishu to settle election disputes

A meeting of federal and state leaders that opened in Mogadishu on Dec. 7th seeks to resolve outstanding election controversies.

Outgoing federal leaders – the president, prime minister and speaker – and state leaders representing the five regional states, attended the National Leaders Forum (NLF) meeting, alongside international community representatives including UN special envoy Michael Keating.

Insiders say the meeting’s primary objectives include: resolving the dispute over three seats among the eleven Upper House seats reserved for Somaliland; agreeing on the path for empowering the conflict resolution committee to intervene in cases of “abuse and malpractice”; and agree on a firm date for the presidential election.

Puntland suspended Lower House elections in Garowe and criticized outgoing parliament speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari – a member of the NLF.

A Puntland government delegation is currently in Mogadishu attending the NLF meeting and campaigning for Sool and Sanaag regions seats among the eleven Upper House seats allocated to Somaliland.

Somali leaders are also expected to agree on supporting the work of the Independent Electoral Dispute Resolution Mechanism (IEDRM) committee.

In a statement to Somali leaders, Mr Keating, the UN special representative to Somalia, said: “Your support will be needed for the IEDRM as it investigates official complaints, resolves disputes and, where the evidence is compelling, addresses the worst instances of electoral abuse and malpractice.”

Independent sources in Mogadishu say that the IEDRM committee is “holding up to 50 cases in review” – including senators and MPs who were ex-warlords or won seats in federal parliament through vote-buying, intimidation and other illegal means.

Source: Somali Review