Former Somali president says more political stakeholders must be included in the Dusamareb talks

Former President Hassan Sheikh Mahmud, who is also one of the leaders of the Forum for National Parties (FNP), said a recent meeting he had with the Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, alongside former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, did not change the party’s stance on the 2020/21 electoral process.

Mahmud said there was no message the FNP leadership received from the Speaker, dismissing rumours that the Speaker had relayed a message from President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

“The Speaker of the House of the People and his deputy are part of the country’s leadership. Leaders can hold meetings and consultations. However, there was no particular reason for this meeting to differentiate it from similar meetings we held in the past,” he said.

He also said that the stance of the FNP on the 2020/21 elections remain the same, calling for the elections to be timely, inclusive and credible.

On the Dusamareb summit, he said more of the country’s stakeholders must be included in the consultations, which he said were important to resolving the current political impasse in the country.

Hassan Sheikh Mahmud leads the Union for Peace and Development (UPD) party, which is one of several political parties who united under the FNP umbrella.