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Somali president backs deal on polls

Somali president backs deal on polls


MOGADISHU, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — Somali President Mohamed Farmajo has welcomed the consensus reached on Sunday by the political leaders and called on relevant bodies to speed up the implementation of the agreed electoral schedule.

Farmajo, while addressing the nation in a televised address on Monday evening on the current situation in the country, expressed optimism that the Lower House and presidential elections will be concluded in a peaceful atmosphere.

“The Somali citizens can no longer bear delays and obstacles to the implementation of the ongoing elections,”  Farmajo said.

The president said he is ready for the polls to be held later this year and emphasized that the electoral process must be Somali-driven.

“Today is not a time for hostility. We all have a responsibility to protect the dignity and governance of our country and to avoid anything that could spoil it,” he added.

The president’s remarks came a day after the Somali prime minister and six regional leaders struck an agreement on completing parliamentary elections by Feb. 25 and ways of enhancing security at the presidential palace.

The leaders also struck a deal on the selection committee appointments, delegate selection, candidate registration, the reservation of seats for women candidates to comply with the agreed 30 percent quota, and the management of candidate fees.

The president called for unity, saying peace and solidarity are their national strength in the defence of their country.

Farmajo also spoke about the country’s foreign policy which is based on cooperation and respect for the international community and the protection of the country’s sovereignty.

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