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Somali leaders begin ''preliminary'' talks to hold elections

Somali leaders begin ''preliminary'' talks to hold elections
Somali’s Prime Minister and leaders of the five semi-autonomous states, begin preliminary talks to hold presidential and parliamentary elections.   -  
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Somalia

Preliminary talks on Somali’s impending elections began Saturday as leaders of this Horn of African nation met in Mogadishu to discuss an election, that has faced postponement.

Somali’s Prime Minister and leaders of the five semi-autonomous states, including mayor of Mogadishu have been discussing ways of easing tensions in the country.

Issues to be tabled for deliberations include the composition of the electoral commission and that of security.

It is still not clear what the duration of these preliminary discussions will be.

But sources have told AFP that finalization of the organization of the elections, including date for the vote, will be known on a yet to be announced second meeting date.

Delays in holding an election in Somalia had sparked one of the worst political crisis in recent years in the country.

In mid-April, the mandate of President Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed, known as Farmajo was extended by two more years.

That expired on February 8 and with no elections in sight, tensions continue to mount.

In early May, Farmajo tasked Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble with organizing elections as soon as possible. Roble called for a meeting of political leaders on May 20 to "finalize" the organization of the presidential and parliamentary elections.

The 2017 election of President Farmajo had raised high hopes among the population, as they saw him as a leader concerned with fighting corruption, and to crush the Islamist Shebab militia.

But the extension of his term was seen by many as a power grab to keep himself in power. During his tenure, the Shebab were not particularly worried.

The government in Mogadishu still controls only a small portion of the country's territory, with the crucial help of some 20,000 troops from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

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