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Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014 - 5:11:05 AM
Somalia: Committee excludes warlords, rebels and armed groups from Federal Parliament

MOGADISHU, Somalia Aug 16 2012 (Garowe Online) – The Technical Selection Committee (TSC) rejected over 70 former politicians applying to be members of parliament who according to reports did not meet the criteria, Garowe Online reports.

The TSC have not officially stated why the officials were rejected, however sources close to the TSC say that the applicants had a previous history of criminality or being associated with groups that have been labeled groups participating to instability in Somalia.

Reports say that former Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Interior Minister and former Islamic Courts Union (ICU) deputy executive head Sheikh Abdiqadir Ali Omar was rejected as an MP.  

So was Mohamed Qanyare Afrah an MP during the departed Col. Abdullahi Yusuf’s tenure and an early member of the militia group United Somali Congress (USC) and former confidant of Ali Mahdi Mohamed, who joined the warlord’s group after his split with Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed.

According to our sources the candidates were disqualified for the history of being involved in groups such as ICU and the USC.

The UN and African Union’s warning last week urged the TSC, to reject politicians that have a history of, “ criminality, violence and intimidation, or who are employing bribery and corruption, and other political spoilers are not returned to Parliament,” read the statement.

The statement also stated that “comprehensive information” would be given to the TSC to allow the committee to select capable and qualified individuals for parliament.

Although the statement did not specify from where the information would be given, our sources say that intelligence agencies are providing the TSC with a background of applicants.

TSC have reminded the traditional elders who will pick an applicant to be interviewed by the TSC, to select capable and educated people as possible members of parliament.

Professor Abdullahi Hiirey TSC Chief, spoke to VOA on Wednesday, said that there were quite a few applicants who were rejected because of their lack of education and qualifications and Mr.Hiirey requested that the elders select capable politicians.

There have been reports of corruption amongst officials looking for seats in parliament. Several statements by UN Special Representative Augustine Mahiga refer to the parliamentary elections as a widely corrupted venue.

Ambassador Mahiga warned earlier this month that the seats of the federal parliament should not become         “commodities for sale or items for auction”.

There have also been reports of government officials who are running for president bribing and giving aspiring MPs incentives to vote for them when they reach parliament.

However the international community is watching the TSC very closely even providing the committee with criteria and background information on aspiring MPs.  

As the political process is reaching its final stages the process has been riddled with setbacks as politicians vie for power in the new federal government of Somalia.


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