Somalia Presidential Candidates Demand Dissolution of Electoral Commissions

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – An opposition alliance of 14 presidential candidates running against Somalia’s incumbent president in 2021-21 elections have demanded the dissolution of federal and regional electoral commissions said to comprise soldiers, state employees and popular supporters of the country’s leader.

In a communiqué issued following a six-day conference in the capital Mogadishu, the opposition presidential candidates demanded that electoral commissions – allegedly composed of supporters of president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo – be revoked and replaced with committees formed in consultation with Somali political stakeholders.

Weeks after Senate leader Abdi Hashi rejected members representing Somaliland in the newly appointed electoral commission, the presidential candidates bolstered his argument that he is the only legitimate official to appoint commissioners from the break-away state.

As dispute still remains unresolved over presence of Somali government troops in Gedo, the communiqué calls for pulling out Turkish-trained forces in the region, whose stay is feared may disrupt the election.

The opposition presidential candidates urged in the statement that Banadir regional elders choose officials representing the region in the federal electoral and conflict resolution commissions, and called on regional states not to intervene in the selection of delegates electing MPs as ordained by earlier agreement.

Regional states have been urged not to support individual presidential candidate and avoid proceeding into elections without common agreement between political stakeholders.

Among other issues the opposition demanded are encouragement of election observers from the civil society, candidates and the international community and appealed to the parliament to preserve the national constitution.

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