Somalia’s PM Says He Is Still Committed to Free, Fair Polls Despite Fraud Claims

Roble

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, speaking at a ceremony in Djibouti, where he arrived on Tuesday for an official state visit, said he was still committed to free and fair elections despite growing fraud claims over votes held by some of the Horn of Africa country’s regional states.

I will listen to your ideas and I as the Prime Minister of Somalia will put into practice the outcome of this [Somali Forum for Ideas]. I also want… the country to proceed with the conduct of free and fair elections,” Somali Premier said.

He also thanked to the government of Djibouti and its president Ismael Omar Geelle for their relentless support to the administration of Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. The remarks also come just months after the findings of IGAD fact-finding mission on Kenya-Somalia border row pitted Mogadishu against Djibouti.

Over the past days, tensions over elections for more than 20 parliamentary seats held by Galmudug and Southwest states have been simmering and led to an announcement by the opposition that it boycotted the polls, citing fraud and manipulation claims.

In an attempt to counter-act against government-managed polls, the opposition has drafted plans for establishing “High Council of State” whose primary responsibility is to pick a president who will then choose a Prime Minister to form a “National Salvation Government”. But some of the opposition figures strongly opposed the proposal. Among them is the chair of the main opposition coalition Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who has rallied behind the incumbent president and threw his support behind the current electoral process, which is widely seen as “fraudulent”.

Roble earlier rebuffed opposition calls for delay to the elections despite allegations over his handling of the electoral process and has shown his will that polls should be completed, at any cost, in favor of the incumbent leader Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

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