On Sunday, opposition leaders from Southwest State held a meeting with the UK Ambassador to Somalia, Mike Nithavrianakis. The talks are part of their efforts to exert pressure on Southwest State President Abdiaziz Laftagaren’s administration. Their objective is to ensure the President’s compliance with the February 2023 Baidoa agreement. The deal stipulates the holding of elections by the end of this year and presidential elections in early January 2024.
Mogadishu, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
Former Chief of Staff at Villa Somalia, Hussein Sheikh Mohamud, took to X (formerly Twitter) to express the commitment to preventing any further constitutional vacuums in Southwest State. He and fellow politicians and presidential candidates of Southwest State emphasized the need for a timely, fair, and free electoral process in accordance with the Baidoa agreement.
The opposition leaders have called upon the Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to assume responsibility for conducting the elections as per the agreement. The election of Members of Parliament (MPs) should take place from November to December. The presidential election is slated for January.
The opposition’s apprehensions arise from concerns that the elections might not occur within the agreed-upon timeframe. This concern originates from another agreement. The 27 May 2023 deal between the FGS and Federal Member States (FMS) proposed holding FMS elections collectively in late 2024.
The meeting with the UK Ambassador is the latest in a series of meetings between Southwest State opposition leaders and various stakeholders. On 25 September, the prominent Southwest politicians met with the Speaker of the Parliament of Somalia, Adan Mohamed Nuur Madobe, widely known as Adan Madobe.
This meeting also focused on implementing the 4 February agreement, which had President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Adan Madobe as guarantors. Southwest opposition leaders emphasized the Speaker’s obligation to adhere to the terms of this agreement. Moreover, they asked him to expedite the commencement of the election process.
This gathering followed a previous meeting in Nairobi, where Southwest leaders strategized their next steps. Their agreed course of action included discussing election matters with the Speaker of Parliament, the President, and the Prime Minister. They also decided to reach out to the international community for support. Meeting the UK Ambassador on Sunday was probably part of that plan.