MOGADISHU, 18 February 2021 – The Somali capital, Mogadishu is hosting a meeting Thursday and Friday to discuss the country’s elections stalemate.
The meeting was convened Wednesday by Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.
On Twitter, the presidential palace in Mogadishu said the meeting will discuss the 17 September 2020 elections agreement.
The agreement between federal government and regional leaders approved an indirect election model for both parliamentary and presidential elections.
The decision to convene the meeting in the capital comes as opposition leaders have called for streets protests against the failure to organize elections by the December 2020 deadline.
The rallies will be held Friday in Mogadishu and the opposition says they will proceed despite a ban on public gatherings on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The restrictions apply also to movement between regions.
Somalia has so far confirmed 5,500 cases of COVID-19 infections, with 172 fatalities and 3,750 full recoveries, according to data updated Thursday by Johns Hopkins University Hospital.
The term of President Farmaajo ended earlier this month and the leaders of at least two semi-autonomous regions – Puntland and Juabbaland – had said they no longer recognize him as a legitimate president.
The opposition and some regional leaders have kicked against a resolution adopted by parliament allowing the president to stay on in power until a new president is elected.
Puntland turned down an offer to host the meeting to discuss the election stalemate in Garowe, demanding that the meeting should be held in the capital.
Presidential elections were also delayed before being held on 8 February 2017 when MPs and Senators elected Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo as President.