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Somali leader convenes consultative talks to unlock poll impasse

Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo speaks after winning the vote in Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb. 8, 2017. Former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was elected new president of Somalia in a tightly contested polls held in Mogadishu on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Pan Siwei)

Somali President Mohamed Farmajo has called for a new round of consultative talks on Thursday between his government and leaders of the federal member states (FMS) to finalize a deal on the elections.

Farmajo said the two-day meeting to be held in the capital Mogadishu will be based on the outcome of the technical committee meeting which ended in southwestern town of Baidoa on Wednesday.

“The federal government of Somalia commends the efforts of the Members of the federal and state governments of the electoral technical committee who analyzed the obstacles to the implementation of the Sept. 17 agreement in Baidoa, paving the way for the holding of elections that reflect the country’s democratic progress,” Farmajo said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening.

The 14-member team said after a two-day meeting that they resolved issues related to the Federal Indirect Elections Team (FIET), Somaliland representatives and management of elections in Gedo.

The meeting in Mogadishu is expected to unlock the deadlock on the electoral process and pave way for the delayed parliamentary and presidential elections.

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Analysts say holding the 2020 universal vote is considered critical for the sake of entrenching the federal system of governance, which is required to appease communities and regions claiming systematic exclusion and marginalization for decades.

The Horn of Africa nation last held one-person, one-vote elections in March 1969 when the government was overthrown in a military coup. Enditem

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