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Somalia: US, UK warn citizens in Somalia of electoral fraud


MOGADISHU, Somalia- Following increase concerns of corruption and vote rigging in the Somali electoral process, both United State mission and British embassy in Somalia have warned its nationals in Somalia from electoral fraud, Garowe Online reports.

On Tuesday, Somalia has inaugurated its 10th Federal Parliament in the capital Mogadishu, as more than 270 parliamentarians from both Lower and Upper Houses have sworn in, despite the parliamentary election is ongoing for some regional clans. 

Somalia is set to hold elections for Speakers of the Houses and the new Somali President in secret ballots, whereby new lawmakers will cast votes among contenders competing for the top office.  

However, the parliamentary elections in regional states have witnessed unprecedented cases of corruption and voter intimidation, whereas pundits anticipate that the forthcoming presidential election to be marred with vote buying similar to 2012 election.

But on Wednesday, U.S. mission in Somalia has warned Somali-American against election fraud on Twitter, saying the United States “committed to a credible electoral process in Somalia, grave instances of corruption by US citizens overseas are punishable under US law.”

Similarly, Harriet Mathews, British Ambassador to Somalia has stated “The UK Bribery Act also applies to British National overseas,” according to a post on its Twitter account on Wednesday.

Both countries threatened serious punishment over electoral corruption by its citizens who joined the new Somali Federal Parliament.

These coincide with growing criticism from the international community over Somali leaders’ decision to expand the Upper House chamber and revoke egregious cases of electoral malpractices during the parliamentary election.

International community called the Somali leaders to adhere to the provisional constitution and ensure credibility of the process by nullifying parliamentary seats that were rigged through misconduct and malpractices.