Mogadishu (PP Editorial) —  The key phrase in the electoral summit in Mogadishu is the 17 September electoral model.

So, what is preventing Puntland and Jubaland leaders from joining the summit in Mogadishu to finalise the agreement they had signed that said delaying tactics are not a strategy to challenge the incumbent administration.

Jubaland and Puntland are key stakeholders whose participation in the electoral summit can break the deadlock.

Their demands for security guarantees have been met: AMISOM is in charge of the security at the summit venue. The decision to hold a parallel conference in Mogadishu under the auspices of the Forum for National Salvation is an unnecessary deviation from the core principles of 17 September electoral model.

Galmudug, Hirshabelle, South West State and Banadir are ready to facilitate the selection of MPs and Senators in line with the 17 September electoral agreement.

In a speech delivered several weeks ago Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni stated that Puntland viewed the 17 September agreement as the way forward.

Then why is he not joining the summit to honour his pledge that Puntland “will sign the agreement”?

Puntland and Jubaland have asked for the presence of the International Community at the talks and that Somalia’s international partners guarantee the outcome of any agreement.

Outcomes from Somalia’s electoral agreements do not require external guarantees. Stakeholders will be able to call out any party that breaches the agreement.

It is a mark of the progress that Somalia has made to let political stakeholders thrash out their differences without an external guarantor.

There is no solid reason why Jubaland and Puntland leaders should be sticking with their delaying tactics that cast them out of the political process.

The International Community has reiterated that finalisation of the 17 September electoral model is the main task that will break the deadlock.

Signatories will not renegotiate terms of the electoral model signed after the Puntland and Jubaland presidents rejected one person, one vote elections on which the now-abrogated Electoral Law was based.

As such, the Jubaland and Puntland leaders should join the electoral summit “without preconditions.”

This article first appeared in the © Puntland Post, 2021 and is republished with permission

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