A surprise endorsement of the extension

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The decision to extend the term of Somali Federal Institutions by two years brings to an end political uncertainty that plagued the nation due to disagreement to validate the 17 September electoral model. The Somali Parliament enacted the electoral law which had to be abrogated to return to indirect elections demanded by Puntland and Jubaland as precondition to join electoral talks.

The Parliament endorsed the indirect elections spurned by Jubaland and Puntland. Successive talks have failed to produce an agreement to conduct elections in line with the 17 September electoral model and Baidoa Recommendations.

What should the reaction of the International Community to the extension be? Since some stakeholders look up to the International Community as an arbiter in Somali politics, Somalia’s International Partners must not resort to any language that calls the sovereignty of Somalia into question.

A decision by the Federal Government based on the national interest should never be likened to a unilateral and destabilising political act. The Somali Federal Parliament cannot stand by while reluctance to endorse the electoral model is a key feature of the failed electoral talks.

The decision to extend the term of the executive and the bicameral house is commendable. It is a precedent that will deter any plans to plunge the country into political uncertainty that can undo all that has been has been achieved since Somalia adopted a federal system sixteen years ago.

The Federal Government of Somalia must put in place a plan to prepare Somalia for one person, one vote elections within two years, as the Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Mursal said today. It will be unwise to question the legitimacy of the Somali Federal Parliament and its pragmatic and levelheaded decision.

Puntland Post

SRCS Building #2

Gureeye Road

Garowe, Puntland, Somalia

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