Somalia: FIEIT and IEDRM planning serious actions against electoral fraud
MOGADISHU, Somalia- Amid increased allegations of electoral fraud in the ongoing Lower House elections in the regional states, Somalia’s electoral committee and disputes resolution body have announced it will launch investigations into the ongoing process, Garowe Online reports.
Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation team (FIEIT) and Independent Electoral Disputes Resolution Mechanism (IEDRM) have jointly released statement on Thursday, saying that about 40 % of the process was completed for the Lower House elections but were concerned by allegations of malpractices in the elections held in various regions in the country.
“Allegations include the harassment and intimidation of some members of the electoral management bodies and candidates, the manipulation of delegate and candidate lists, misuse of government resources (including use of members of security forces) to favor some parliamentary candidate over others and use of private security/financial resources to intimidate and compromise some candidates and delegate,” read the statement.
They added that they will jointly cooperate to investigate the process and will resort to nullify the ballot results for seats that have been rigged.
“When investigations confirm that serious malpractices have occurred, the FIEIT and the IEDRM will take appropriate and decisive actions. Such actions can and will include nullification of the election results and disqualification of candidates who have committed the malpractices."
FIEIT and IEDRM have also expressed concerns for not adhering to the reserved 30-percent quota for women candidates in the Lower House elections and called clans to abide by the electoral rules in respect to women participation in the process.
However, according to an International diplomatic source, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, said “four elected seats in the Lower House election of Galmudug state are in progress of nullification. The seats that won by Mahad Salad, Minister for Presidency, Abdulkadir Gaafow, brother of the National Intelligence chief Gen. Abdualhi Gaafow, Mustafa Dhuhlow, former Federal Minister and Sadiq Abdikarim, Presidential aide.” Most of the candidates that are considered for disqualification are close allies to the caretaker President Hassan Shaikh Mahmoud.
On the other hand, Somalia’s international partners have also released statement welcoming the decisions of FIEIT and IEDRM to nullify election results that have been rigged and disqualify candidates who have engaged in election malpractices.
Pundits have previously noted that the ongoing parliamentary elections are marred with corruption and fraud due to the continuous interference by leaders of the Somali government-term ended in September 10- and regional states, who some are presidential contenders and aiming to favor their presidential campaigns in the forthcoming Somali election.