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Pressure Somali stakeholders to end dispute over poll – HIPS tells Int’l partners

MOGADISHU (SD) – An urgent intervention by the international community to mediate between Somalia’s political stakeholders is necessary in order to avert political crisis which could plunge the country into anarchy, Mogadishu based think tank warned.

In a report released on Monday, Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS) said the international community should exert maximum pressure on the leaders of Somali government and member states to meet and return from the brink.

“Without an urgent agreement on the implementation of the 17 September agreement, the prospects for a partial election by the FGS and its allies is real and that would almost certainly lead to the conflagration of violence across the country,” HIPS said in the report.

UN envoy to act as Arbitrator

The report suggested that stakeholders to seek help from UN head in the country, James Swan to end the political crisis as the nation could not withstand a disputed federal election given the deep polarization among the society and the rupture of the so-called elite compact.

“On the election committee, we propose that the opposition urgently submit the names they allege to be civil servants and security officials to the Office of the UN Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG), as a representative of the international community, so that he can work with the FGS to replace the disputed members in compliance with the 17 September agreement. They should be replaced with neutral and credible election managers,” the think tank said.

HIPS also proposed that all FMS to replace the FEIT members they appointed who are known to be partisans and or senior or security official.

“We propose that the FGS and FMS submit their proposed replacements to the UN SRSG so that he can work with all sides to ensure that FEIT members and regional election committees are broadly acceptable to all stakeholders,” the report noted.

Differences over Somaliland, Hiiraan and Gedo polls

The report underscored the need for solution to iron out the ongoing electoral crisis saying “Senate speaker Abdi Hashi Abdullahi, and the deputy prime minister Mahdi Gulaid—the two highest Somaliland officials in the FGS— jointly appoint the committee that would manage the election for Somaliland MPs, as they indicated they were willing to do during the Garowe discussions.

The Heritage proposed that the UN conducts elections in Gedo and Hiiraan regions saying the stakeholders (the regions) should delay elections in these two regions for about a month.

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