Somalia President: Elections to take place by September 2016

Somalia president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud.  FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud Monday said that the recovering Horn of Africa country remains on course to hold a general election in 2016.

"By end of the term of the current Federal Government of Somalia (in September 2016), there shall be no attempts for extension of mandate whatever the excuse," said President Mohamoud.

He was speaking at a reconciliation conference in Mogadishu, the capital, and which is underway this week.

He added: "No one can bring to the nation the excuse that government assignments were not completed in time, prompting a call for extension of the leadership’s term.

"We must be mindful that we only have 36 months left."

The post-transitional government of Somalia was assembled in September 2012 for a four-year period.

The conference is organised by the presidency and was announced only a few days ago. It focuses on, among others, developing the federal constitution, federalisation of the country, resource sharing and good governance.

UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) boss Nicholas Kay appreciated the Somali government’s efforts to hold reconciliation conferences.

"The United Nations supports the intention of this conference," said Mr Kay, who urged Somalis to strive to bring peace and development to their land.

In Addis Ababa last week, the Federal Government of Somalia signed an accord with the rulers in Kismayu in the politically troubled Juba regions of southern Somalia.

Two major authorities in Somalia, namely the breakaway Republic of Somaliland and the semiautonomous state of Puntland, opted to stay away.

While Somaliland claims to be independent from the rest of Somalia, Puntland leaders are in dispute with the government in Mogadishu on many issues.

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