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Somali prime minister, state presidents agree on deadline for upper house elections

Thursday August 5, 2021

Mogadishu (HOL) - Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble chaired a meeting on Thursday with his cabinet. He briefed them on his recent conversations with the leaders of Somalia's regional states concerning the timetable for the election of Somalia's Upper House.

The PM said that he reached a verbal agreement with the FMS leaders to conclude the elections by next week.

So far, only Jubaland and South West State have begun electing Senators to the Upper House, with Puntland announcing on Thursday that they will be submitting the list of qualifiable candidates shortly.

Galmudug has announced that it has formed the Senatorial Election Committee on Thursday, which will be responsible for overseeing the Upper House election process in the region.

According to an electoral schedule released by Somalia's Federal Electoral Committee, indirect elections for the parliament and presidency were supposed to begin on July 25 - with the selection of Upper House state delegates, culminating with Somalia's President's election on October 10.

The timetable was thrown off track after the Federal Member States were either unable or unwilling to submit the names of the candidates in time and form the necessary committees to oversee the ballot.

Somaliland remains one of the most potent obstacles to forming Somalia's Upper House.

The Prime Minister reportedly said at the meeting that he has been working behind the scenes to create an atmosphere of understanding between Somaliland politicians led by Speaker of the Upper House Abdi Hashi Abdullahi and Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Guled.

Roble met with Guled and Hashi earlier this week to reach an amicable settlement over the chairmanship of the electoral committee. However, Hashi rejected the PM's proposals and offered counter-solutions that includes a joint board be organized as the electoral committee in the event of further disagreement - as per an arrangement made on June 19, 2020.

While all other regions have eight senators, Somaliland and Puntland are allocated 11 each.

The PM also briefed cabinet ministers on his recent trip to London during the meeting, where he met with his British counterpart, Boris Johnson.


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