Ex-House speaker Jawari fights back amid vote rigging claims in Somalia


MOGADISHU, Somalia - Former House speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari has staged a fightback following the decision by the electoral body to block him from contesting in the ongoing elections, even as the opposition leaders accused outgoing President Farmaajo of vote-rigging.

Already, the Federal Indirect Elections Team [FIET] and the State Indirect Elections Team [SIET] of Southwest have differed over the blocking of Jawari in the race which was recently concluded in Baidoa, the regional administrative capital of Southwest.

On Saturday, FIET suspended the election of the seat that saw Jawari being locked out. The former speaker accused Farmaajo and Abdiaziz Lafta-Gareen, the president of Southwest of locking him out of the race.

Despite the reprieve from FIET, the southwest' SIET insisted that the election of the disputed seat will be held in Baidoa on Sunday. For some time now, opposition bigwigs have been accusing Farmaajo of plotting to rig his opponents in Lower House elections.

Later on Saturday, Jawari, a two-term speaker, met the FIET team where he tabled a number of claims. The FIET team is still evaluating the merit of his claims which could trigger a heated debate should they get confirmed.

Jawari was kicked out as a speaker in 2019 following his unprecedented fallout with Farmaajo and former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, who has since turned to a critic of Farmaajo. His place was taken by Mohamed Mursal, a close ally of Farmaajo.

Another Farmaajo-Lafta Gareen political foe, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan aka Sakin is reportedly facing a blockade in his bid to return to the Lower House. He was blocked by Villa Somalia from defending his South West state presidential seat in 2018 and forced to withdraw from the race.

On Saturday, outgoing Lower House speaker Mohamed Mursal has been re-elected as MP in a landslide vote in the ongoing elections in the South West state. He's been accused of driving Farmaajo's agenda in parliament.

Mursal, a close ally of outgoing president Mohamed Farmaajo garnered 88 votes while his opponent Faysal Ibrahim got no vote. Twelve votes were spoilt. Two more seats are up for election today in South West.

In Galmudug, another Farmaajo ally Abdishakur Ali Mire was also re-elected in Saturday’s one-seat vote in Dhusamareb, central Somalia.

Galmudug has now elected five MPs while South West has picked the first three MPs on Saturday in Baidoa city. Various states are now conducting Lower House elections.


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