Somalia’s Opposition Calls for Election Delay as Fraud Claims Mount

Somalia opposition leaders

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s opposition on Thursday called for delay to the ongoing elections following days of talks between its leaders, after fraud and manipulation allegations overshadowed votes for parliamentary seats held by some of the country’s regional states.

In a statement, the Council of Presidential Candidates, a conglomerate of opposition parties urged the government and state presidents to halt the ongoing polls until corrective measures are taken against fraud and manipulation activities that have triggered disputes.

Procedures for parliamentary elections, particularly those pertinent to the selection of elders, delegates and candidates participating in the vote should be revised, the opposition said.

In addition, it asked the states to give candidates equal spaces for contest and stop blocking some of the candidates from running and reserving male seats for women in an attempt to prevent their foes from participating in the race.

It is not yet clear if the regional state leaders, who have won significant powers in the management of elections with the new procedures, will pay heed to the calls from the opposition leaders. There are reports that the Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble wants to convene a meeting with regional leaders to discuss escalating tensions over the ongoing polls.

The opposition has also urged a re-run of all disputed parliamentary elections held by Southwest and Galmudug states, and some held in Mogadishu for seats allocated for the break-away state of Somaliland.

The leaders of the opposition council failed to agree on the formation of a transitional council and whether to call forces aligned with them back to Mogadishu amid simmering tensions. Some of the politicians within the council are said to have been influenced by Villa Somalia with promises that they will be rewarded if they lead to a fiasco in CPC ‘s attempts to establish a sovereign body that would oversee parallel elections.

The council said its members would not participate in the current “fraudulent” process until corrective measures are taken.

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