As you are aware, in July of last year, 2020, the debate on the nature of Somalia’s 2020/2021 elections began. The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) has sought to lead the country to a multi-party system, with some regional administrations insisting on ending the one-person, one-vote representation system, and the promising first phase of a multi-party system. The government has been pushed to deviate from the right path and to lean towards indirect elections and limited representation.
At the time, about 100 parties were registered and preparing for a multi-party system and participating in a one-person, one-vote general election. The Independent Electoral Commission conducted the registration process responsibly and efficiently.
Unfortunately, the Puntland and Jubaland regional administrations rejected the multi-party system and the holding of one-person, one-vote elections. They insisted on going back to the 2016 process and indirect elections.
When the Government agreed to the Indirect Election Agreement signed by the leaders on September 17th so that the country could hold a general election, the Regional Administrations also made great efforts to ensure that the other parties and regional assembly do not modify the Agreement and ratify the September 17th agreement.
To expedite the implementation of the agreement, the Government was referred to the Electoral Commissions of 3 Regional Administrations (Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Southwest), Banadir Region and Somaliland, but unfortunately again Puntland and Jubaland refused to nominate their Electoral Commissions.
Once again, in order to expedite the implementation of the September 17th agreement, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, HE Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, convened a series of meetings, but the leaders of Jubaland and Puntland failed to attend those meetings except for the one in Samareb where they came up with new terms.
The JFS Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Robleh, visited most of the State Governments in the country to get the elections started. But unfortunately, once again, Puntland and Jubaland refused to allow elections to begin.
Now, after waiting for six months the two regional administrations to be satisfied and implement the agreement they signed on September 17th;
After meeting in Garowe, Samareb, Baidoa and Mogadishu to reach an understanding on the elections;
When they demanded for the suspension of the armed forces to expose the country to crime and insecurity;
When the regional administrations of Puntland and Jubaland refused to implement the very agreement they had originally designed and prevented the country from going to the polls;
When the President of the Republic has shown great flexibility and accepted more than five times demands from the regional administrations which were blocking the elections;
When everything Puntland and Jubaland requested was granted at the Baidoa Agreement on 15-16th of February so that elections are held, but again they refused to implement that very agreement;
When the President sent a delegation to the Jubaland and Puntland leaders consisting of the Presidents of the three Regional Administrations of South West, Galmudug and Hirshabelle they returned empty-handed and without result;
After meeting at the Avizione Center since April 3rd, the leaders of Puntland and Jubaland once again introduced new conditions, including the suspension of the parliament, the transfer of the President’s constitutional powers, the government becomes nominal, foreigners have a role to play in governing the country and the dismissal of the Commanders of the Armed Forces. Put together, these issues mean “no government”;
When all the efforts made by volunteering parties, namely the President, the Prime Minister, the Presidents of the progressive regional administrations, intellectuals, Somali clerics, women interested in politics and reconciliation, business people and the international community, to convince Jubaland and Puntland leaders to allow the country to go to the polls, became useless; The government is making it clear to the Somali people today that Puntland and Jubaland leaders do not want elections in this country based on the September 17th agreement and the February 16th memorandum of understanding. It is unfortunate that these two leaders have become a roadblock that does not allow elections to happen in the country.