UN Envoy Urges Somalia Regional States to Shift Focus to Lower House Vote

UN envoy to Somalia

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – The United Nations envoy to Somalia James Swan on Wednesday called on the country’s regional states and the electoral board to complete the remaining Upper House elections and shift focus to preparations for the Lower House vote.

It came after he had attended a “portion of the Upper House” elections for candidates from the break-away state of Somaliland in “a show of solidarity” on Wednesday.

Six of eleven senators representing the break-away state at the Upper House of Somalia’s parliament were chosen in a heavily contested vote and critics of the current acting president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo cemented a landslide victory after defeating his allies.

Among the new senators elected during Wednesday’s vote are the outgoing Senate speaker Abdi Hashi Abdullahi, acting information minister Osman Abokor Dube and well-known Somali scholar Abdi Ismail Samatar.

On Monday, Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble urged the federal member states to speed up efforts to hold Lower House elections and said the current rift with the president would come to an end once polls are complete, and a new administration comes to office.

But the president of Jubaland state Ahmed Madobe said on Tuesday that the premier cannot hold elections due to the president’s meddling and urged him to convene a meeting of the National Consultative Council to seek recommendations and further assistance on endeavors to ensure the peaceful conduct of credible polls.

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