MOGADISHU - Somali President Mohamed Farmajo has called for a consultative meeting between his government and leaders of the federal member states (FMS) to discuss electoral issues ahead of polls.
Farmajo said the Feb. 1-3 meeting to be held in Dhusamareb, the capital of Galmudug State is expected to unlock the deadlock on the electoral process and pave way for the delayed parliamentary and presidential elections.
"As part of our efforts on the Sept. 17 elections agreement, I will have a three-day consultative forum with FMS Leadership in Dhusamareb from Feb. 1st to 3rd, 2021," he said in a statement issued on Saturday evening hours after holding talks with representatives of the international community in Mogadishu.
The Somali leader whose term into office expires on Feb. 8 said he will later on Feb. 5 address the two Houses of Federal Parliament on national progress especially on federal elections.
The meeting comes after Jubbaland and Puntland federal states which had earlier rejected the composition of the electoral commission and its capacity to hold a free, fair and credible vote and demanded its overhaul, accepted to form their respective electoral committees.
Leaders of the two federal member states also proposed a meeting between the five-member states and the government to resolve the contentious issues to pave the way for free, fair and credible elections.
The UN in Somalia on Sunday welcomed the planned consultative meeting and urged Somali leaders for each agreement in line with the Sept. 17 agreement.
"The UN in Somalia welcomes president Farmajo's leadership convening a federal government-federal member states forum in Dhusamareb and urges Somali leaders to reach agreement in a spirit of compromise on the raid implementation of the September 17 electoral model," the UN said in a tweet.
Analysts say holding the 2020 universal vote is considered critical for the sake of entrenching the federal system of governance, which is required to appease communities and regions claiming systematic exclusion and marginalization for decades.
The Horn of Africa nation last held one-person, one-vote elections in March 1969 when the government was overthrown in a bloodless military coup.