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MP Idle Gedi: Personal interests derailing Kismayu talks

Somali Federal MP Mohammad Idle Gedi has accused Somali leaders of pursuing personal interests at the expense of the country’s interest in deciding on the electoral choice for 2016 even as it emerges the oingoing talks in Kismayo were facing near collapse Saturday.

In scathing remarks during an interview with Goobjoog News, the lawmaker castigated the national leaders terming their actions as ‘immature and devoid of wisdom and knowledge’.

Gedi said the deadlock in Kismayo had degenerated further into a tug of war between the proponents of the 4.5 clan system on the one hand and the district electoral college on the other. He noted Emirati envoy’s intervention saved the talks from collapse.

Federal and regional administrations leaders have been meeting in Kismayo since Thursday to hammer out a deal on the best possible electoral option for the August polls following consultations in various parts of the country in the last three months. The electoral option will pave way for the election of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament which will then jointly elect the president.

The failure of Somali leaders to reach consensus on which model to be adapted from 4.5 or district based for 2016 elections has raised the frustration of Somali public as well as members of Somali legislature.

“Each of them came here to represent and assert their personal interest not the public interest. They lack sense of compromise and patriotism,” said the MP.

Hot potato

2016 elections model has become difficult for Somali leaders to decide. Abdiwali Gaas of Puntland State and Ahmed Madobe of Jubbland State are strong advocates of district based elections model while Sharif Sheikh Hassn of Southwest State and Abdikarim Guled of Galmudug State assert 4.5(Clan proportional distribution) to be the case, while  Federal President Hassan maintained neutrality.

As the meeting runs through the gridlock, alternatives are emerging again including the possibility of extension, Goobjoog News learns.