President Farmaajo addressed Parliament on Saturday, telling lawmakers that any agreement reached in Dhusamareb will be brought back to the Lower House before it is passed and signed.
In a speech to the Lower House before leaving for Dhusamareb, President Farmaajo said the House would have to debate and approve the electoral model arrived at in the talks which kick of this week in the central Somalia town.
“I will be attending Dhusamareeb meeting between FGS & FMS to discuss modalities of upcoming elections. I assure you that any agreement reached there will be brought back to parliament to decide as it is the constitutional body which represents the country”, Farmaajo told Parliament on Saturday.
Farmaajo assured parliament his administration respected the Elections Act passed by Parliament in June.
“We’ve already agreed on the electoral model; it’s been discussed and passed by both Houses of Parliament.”
The National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) chairperson Halima Yarey told parliament in late June that the commission needed up to 13 months to prepare a credible poll where Somalis will cast their vote individually. That timeframe would see the current government operating outside of its constitutional mandate. The term of the current parliament ends December 27th, while the President’s mandate expires on February 8th, 2021.
In their previous meetings in Dhusamareb, Somalia’s Federal Member States leaders have ruled out the feasibility of holding national one-person-one-vote elections on time and have pushed for an alternative, indirect model to be implemented before the government’s mandate expires.
In his speech to parliament, Farmaajo acknowledged the need for cooperation between Somalia’s federal and regional government’s.
“It is indispensable for the Federal Government and the Federal Member States to talk, consult, and come up with plans and political decisions enabling Somali people to have the right to decide their fate”, He added.
The President has insisted that Somali’s be granted universal suffrage, criticizing the Dhusamareb conference is a continuation of a political arrangement that has already been agreed upon and ratified.
” Earlier, there has been a political agreement based on the election process of the country which was held in Baidoa town in 2018, followed by a joint committee from FGS and FMS’s. The London and Brussels talks led the agreement to hold a one-person, one-vote election while you(Parliament) passed the law guiding that election”, The President said.
He went on to say that “this (Dhusamareb Conference) is another part to a political agreement, but they (FMS leaders) are discarding all these agreements that it took before it was made an act of parliament.”
Former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire was supposed to travel to Dhusamareb with President Farmajo before he was unceremoniously sacked by parliament in an abrupt no-confidence vote in late July. Before his dismissal, Khaire chaired a cabinet meeting that passed a resolution that called for the government not to extend its mandate.