Three Djiboutian cabinet members held a public meeting on Tuesday (October 7th) to address the failed talks between the ruling Union for Presidential Majority (UMP) party and the opposition Union for National Salvation (USN) over the contested legislative elections last February.
At the press conference, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Minister of Finance Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh and Minister of Education Djama Elmi Okieh said the opposition’s demands were “incomprehensible, even irrational” and that the USN suffers from splintered leadership that renders it ineffective, the Djiboutian Information Agency reported.
Youssouf, who is also a spokesman for the government, said that President Ismail Omar Guelleh personally met with opposition representative Guedi Hared in September to reach an agreement on the legislative election results.
During these meetings, Hared had said he would sign an agreement to form a commission to explore issues of mutual concern, but later the USN withdrew its support and the talks collapsed. At the time, both parties accused one another of intransigence and blamed each other for the failure of the talks.
“We think it is possible to advance things and to overcome these difficulties,” the three ministers said at the conclusion of the meeting. They encouraged Hared to reach out to Guelleh to finalise the agreement.
Hared, for his part, said he was waiting for an audience with the president to continue negotiations.