The Puntland government has issued a statement on Monday explaining their absence from the third Dhusamareb as regional, and federal leaders converge to discuss the ongoing electoral crisis.
President Farmaajo is currently in Dhusamareb with the regional leaders from Hirshabelle, Southwest State, Galmudug and Banadir for meetings that began on August 15th.
In their address, the Puntland government accused the federal government of working to undermine the consultative process and listed their grievance against the federal government.
Puntland says that the ousting of Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire – who voiced his support for timely elections without extending the legislative or executive mandate – as he returned from Dhusamareb II was illegal and done in bad faith. The added that the appointment of the caretaker Prime Minister was also unlawful.
Puntland accused President Farmaajo of intentionally delaying the appointment of a new Prime Minister so that the agreements reached the first two meetings in Dhusamareb are not implemented. It also took umbrage with the selection process for the electoral technical committee, saying that the Federal Government appoints the members without consultation.
The Puntland government also criticized President Farmaajo’s address to Somalia’s Parliament on Saturday saying it indicated Farmaajo is not politically invested in the consultative process.
Farmaajo told lawmakers that any agreement that comes out of Dhusamareb would be brought back to the Lower House before it is ratified into law.
President Farmaajo contends that Dhusamareb is a continuation of political arrangements that have already been agreed upon by Somalia and her international partners, and promised that he would deliver universal suffrage.
Puntland believes that by telling Parliament it has the final say on the Dhusamareb meetings, the President is violating Articles 71 and 63 of the Constitution by allowing the House of the People to represent the Federal Member States.
Puntland also accuses President Farmaajo of effectively silencing Somalia’s Senate.
The Puntland statement stopped short of boycotting the talks, but insist that certain conditions must be met before Puntland participates in Dhusamareb 3 or similar consultative discussions with the federal government.
Firstly, it insists that President Farmaajo appoint a new Prime Minister before any negotiations can take place.
It calls on the international community to be present so that it may observe and guarantee any agreement that is reached.
The statement also says that the Puntland government recognized the actions of the federal government’s leaders in undermining the process of governance in Somalia could lead to political instability, insecurity and socio-economic delays. It calls on the government to cease these actions.
Finally, it endorsed the call of the Speaker of the Upper House to uphold the rule of law and order in the country’s constitutional institutions.
It is widely expected that Jubaland’s President, Ahmed Madobe, will also not attend the conference.