HARGEISA (Somaliguardian) – Somaliland on Thursday threatened action against masked delegates who had participated in a vote for candidates from the break-away state willing to join Somalia’s Upper House of Parliament and said it has information of all individuals who had taken part in the process.
The vice president of the break-away state Abdirahman Saylici said the delegates who had covered their faces are known to the government and will face arrest if they return to Somaliland.
“We inform Somalia that what you are cooking up in the one kilometer protected by the foreigners are unacceptable to us and it is unpalatable to us that 20 defectors from this nation are said to represent us. They don’t represent us,” The vice president of Somaliland Abdirahman Sayli’i said.
“We are very disappointed that the United Nations was witness and trusted that 20 and 30 defectors could represent us [in Somalia’s Upper House of Parliament]. We have information that those who were covering their faces had left Somaliland and they want to return tomorrow. They are national traitors and there should be no sympathy for them when they are arrested tomorrow.”
The United Nations envoy to Somalia James Swan attended a “portion of the Upper House” elections for candidates from the break-away state of Somaliland in “a show of solidarity” on Wednesday, drawing condemnation from authorities of the self-declared state.
The vote gripped by fear had been participated by delegates covering their faces, in what many said was due to concerns over arrest when they return to the cities in the break-away state they had come from before the election.
Asked about why the delegates had covered their faces, a spokesman for Somalia’s electoral board Ahmed Safina said the moves were part of prevantative measures for COVID-19, but the delegates had made mistakes when wearing the masks. The electoral commission will provide further awareness on coronavirus to the delegates, he added.
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