Somali parties ‘cautiously’ welcome PM Kheyre’s pledge on timely election

The Forum for National Parties (FNP), which is a coalition bringing together several political parties in Somalia and is headed by former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, has “cautiously” welcomed the recent remarks by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre, in which he promised to hold a timely, peaceful and inclusive election.

In a statement, the FNP called on the government to turn this pledge into a tangible action by inviting all political stakeholders to an immediate national forum to discuss, among other things, the election timetable and the electoral model to be used in the polls.

The opposition coalition warned the government against “any excuses that can lead to the delay of the election or term extension”.

For a free and fair election to be held as scheduled, the coalition emphasised in its statement on the importance of an agreed upon electoral process that will be inclusive of all the political stakeholders in the country.

The FNP’s statement also seemed to dismiss a statement by Somalia’s Ambassador to the UN, Abukar Dahir Osman, who said recently in a UN Security Council meeting that the Horn of Africa country was determined to conduct a one-man, one-vote election by the end of mandate for the current government.

The statement comes as the opposition Wadajir Party also released a similar statement calling on the government to “create an environment of dialogue among political stakeholders to negotiate an agreed upon election model”.

“The peaceful transfer of power and holding elections after every four years is the cornerstone of Somalia’s political stability. The federal government, federal member states, political parties, civil society groups have to come together, negotiate and agree on a realistic electoral model,” Wadajir Party said in a statement issued on 31 May.