Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is hosting former political leaders starting Wednesday for a three-day consultative meeting aimed at discussing political and security challenges facing the country.
The presidency said the meeting bringing together senior government officials including former prime ministers, presidents, and speakers will enable President Mohamud to share achievements, challenges, and future plans of the government.
“The president will hear the insights of former leaders on security, counter-terrorism, completion of the constitution review, and democratization,” the presidency said Tuesday evening.
The consultative meeting came as government forces have sustained their attacks against the terrorist group al-Shabab since President Mohamud declared an all-out war against the militants in 2022.
The president has also vowed that the military operations to flush out al-Shabab militants from their strongholds will be intensified to stop extortion of the Somali people and the spread of propaganda, intimidation, and extremism in Somalia.
The talks also came after an agreement between the government and the federal member states was reached in May providing for the introduction of direct universal suffrage from 2024 and the transition to a presidential system.
During the May 28 meeting, the leaders agreed that one-person-one-vote elections will take place once every five years and a 15-member national election and border committee will be formed to manage all local, regional, and federal elections.
The agreement, which must be approved by Parliament, was reached at the end of a four-day meeting of the National Consultative Forum which brought together President Mohamud, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, and the leaders of the federated states.
Said Abdullahi Deni, the president of Puntland, however, was not present to sign the agreement.
Analysts say the main focus of the three-day consultative meeting is to address the contentious electoral system and seek possible solutions.