Experts: Somalia Elections Face Difficult, Growing Challenges

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Somalia experts and officials say upcoming elections face further delays unless the country’s seven-member National Leadership Forum (NLF) takes action.

The Federal Indirect Electoral Independent Team warned Monday there will be more postponements if there is no political agreement on Hiran and Middle Shabelle, the last regional administrations that need to be established before elections can take place.

The president and prime minister, both members of the NLF, expressed differences over the venue of selection of the new region’s parliament, with the president proposing Mogadishu and the prime minister insisting it be left within the region.

Both the president and prime minister are presidential candidates.

The formation of this regional administration is a contentious issue because each candidate suspects the other may exploit the process to produce allies who would have a say in the election of the Upper House (by Oct. 10), the Lower House (by Nov. 10) and president (Nov. 30).

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