Somalia: Southwest election postponed amid interference claims
BAIDOA, Somalia - The Council of Traditional Elders of Southwest announced Tuesday they have postponed the Presidential Election of the Regional State set to be held on 17th Nov, Garowe Online reports.
In a statement, the Elders said they made the decision after realizing that the Somali Government is vastly interfering with the Election issues by supporting some candidates using public funds for their campaigns.
The government was blamed for blocking other eligible aspirants from the election, including former Al-Shabab deputy leader, Mukhtar Robow, citing international sanctions imposed on him that are still in place.
Additionally, the lawmakers of Southwest assembly who were expected to be fair for the candidates in the race have been transported to Mogadishu from Baidoa by planes by the Government in an attempt to bribe them.
Pursuant to Article 60 of the Southwest constitution, the Council of the Elders decided to delay the election due to the growing Villa Somalia meddling in the electoral process that could lead to instability in the region.
The postponement comes as the Somali Senate warned interference in the presidential election of the regional state and called for a free and fair vote amid deepening political crisis in the Horn of the African country.
On Monday, the Council of Inter-state cooperation [CIC] said in a statement that President Farmajo and his PM shoulder their responsibilities and own up to the consequences of the naked election interference.
This followed the resignation of Southwest State electoral commission members, including the chairman and his deputy due to the unprecedented interference that thrown the region's future into disarray and uncertainty.
So far, the Federal Government of Somalia has not commented on the allegations, but, the Ministry of Interior has called on Tuesday a timely election in Southwest state, noting that a delay will not be accepted.