MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Southwest regional electoral body has denied journalists access to an election venue where a parliamentary vote kicked off in the town of Barawa in the Lower Shabelle region, Somalia’s State Television reported on Wednesday.
The region, whose leader is a key ally of president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, has been facing numerous accusations, including blocking former MPs from running for re-election. On Tuesday, outgoing parliamentarian Mohamed Omar Dalha said he had been excluded from the race and blamed meddling from regional authorities.
The development comes hours after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that the Biden administration was imposing visa curbs on Somali officials complicit in undermining elections through use of violence, arbitrary arrests and intimidation against opposition members, journalists and civilians.
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