12 presidential candidates meet in Mogadishu over poll row

Twelve opposition presidential candidates have kicked off three days meeting in Mogadishu in which sources said is aimed at finding a common ground on preparations for the upcoming elections.

Among those in attendance are former presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, immediate former prime minister Hassan Khaire and former South West and Galmudug presidents Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden and Abdikarim Guled respectively.

The meeting comes amid rising concerns from opposition parties and civil society over the composition of the Federal and Stae Level Elections committees.

The parties accuse president Mohamed Farmaajo and Federal Member State presidents of appointing civil servants, intelligence official and cronies to manipulate the upcoming elections.

Several presidential candidates among them Wadajir Party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur arrived in the country in the last two days from Kenya and other parts of the world for the meeting.

The meeting comes about a week after the 12 presidential candidates penned a protest letter against Farmaajo demanding that he withdraws persons he appointed to the Federal Indirect Elections Team (FIET).

A new president is expected to be elected in the first week of February 2021.


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