Somalia: Moqdishu President urges concessions, political harmony ahead of elections

Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has called on the country’s political stakeholders to make concessions and engage in a political harmony few months before the horn of Africa nation holds presidential elections this year.

Speaking at the government-organized national consultative forum which involved the country’s political stakeholders including regional leaders and civil society members on Sunday, Mr. Mohamud said that Somalia had made ‘impressive’ political strides on security and rebuilding.

“As we move towards achieving greater goals, it’s very important for us to promote a political solution and making concessions.” He told regional leaders at the forum.

The national consultative forum seeks ‘guiding principles’ presented and endorsed at high-level partnership forum which was held in the Somali capital in July last year to enable the transfer of power when the government’s mandate expires in 2016.

The horn of Africa nation is preparing for presidential elections which would see the incumbent president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud facing dozens of candidates running for the country’s top seat mid this year.

According to Somalia’s Provisional Federal Constitution, adopted in 2012, the mandates of the Somali Federal Parliament and of the Government would come to an end in August and September 2016, respectively.

Somalia’s government which proposed the election this year had dismissed the likelihood of holding popular elections due to security challenges.

The Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab group continues to carry out violent attacks across Somalia by carrying out guerrilla attacks including suicide attacks and assassinations.

The international community which is spearheading efforts aimed at restoring peace and order into the Somalia which is recovering from decades of war mandated the current government to lead the country into general elections following the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a new parliament and the adoption of a new constitution in  2012.