MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble on Saturday named 7 members of the Electoral Disputes Committee, some of whom are well-known supporters of the incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, to replace other officials he had sacked over bias and involvement in political affairs.
In a statement, the Premier said the committee lost its credibility and trust to reach judgments on disputed election results for parliamentary seats. Somaliguardian has learned from multiple sources that the officials dismissed by the Prime Minister had been actively participating in the incumbent president’s re-election campaign.
The move by the Prime Minister has won the backing of opposition leaders, who say it could be the first step to correct past mistakes which may also help return the electoral process back on the right track. They urged the Prime Minister to annul decisions reached by the team, including the election of the acting spy chief Yasin Farey.
Former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, in a tweet shortly after Roble’s statement, said the Prime Minister should also deal with other controversial issues that need to be addressed in cooperation with other stakeholders.
Some of the newly-appointed members of the committee are believed to have been members of Villa Somalia-funded online trolls. One of them said the country needed neither elections nor protests and had a nationalist president, in a write-up posted on Facebook after an attack by Farmajo’s forces on a hotel where former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed were staying in April.
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