Somalia’s Council of Presidential Candidates on Thursday expressed concern over the collapse of the most recent round of election talks.

The council, comprising two former presidents, former prime minister Hassan Ali Khayre and several permanent politicians, was formed in November 2020 to hold talks with the government and other stakeholders and reach an agreement on polls in the Horn of Africa country.

“Presidential candidates are deeply concerned about former President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s attempts to derail the conference on Somalia’s elections attended by leaders of the federal government and the federal member states,” said a council statement.

It is becoming clear to the Somali people that the former president – referring to current Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed – is working to undermine efforts to hold an inclusive and peaceful election in the country with the aim of extending his term of office, the council said. “Any extension is unconstitutional and a threat to the country’s stability.”

Wednesday’s talks on finding a way forward to the polls and resolve the current political and election impasse between the Somali government and regional leaders ended without reaching an agreement.

The country has seen political and election stalemate after the current president’s mandate expired on Feb. 8 and opposition leaders announced that they don’t recognize him as the head of state.

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