Somalia’s ex-president says there’s still room for dialogue over polls impasse

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Former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has expressed optimism in resolving the ongoing political impasse over elections.

Speaking upon arrival in the country, the former head of state who is also the chairman of the Council of Presidential Candidates (CPC) said it was unfortunate the elections had not been conducted but added that there was still room for dialogue.

“As you all know, we hoped that the differences in the electoral process would be resolved peacefully and through dialogue, but the opposition has not always seen it as a free and fair election that will satisfy the Somali people and the international community,” the former president said. “It is a national issue, not a sectarian one and I believe there is still time to resolve these issues.”

The remarks by the former president who had reportedly visited Sudan come amid continued delays of elections and absence of talks between the Federal Government over the elections deadlock.

Parliamentary elections have since been postponed three times owing to lack of consensus between the government and opposition groups.

Senate elections were to be concluded January 14 in the latest timetable released by the controversial Federal Indirect Elections Team (FIET).

The opposition and a section of Federal Member States have demanded the disbandment of FIET over claims int is packed with President Mohamed Farmaajo’s loyalists.

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