MOGADISHU – The UN and other international partners in Somalia have warned against lack of transparency in the upcoming elections in Jubbaland calling on the Ahmed Madobe administration and the state electoral body to provide clear directions on the heavily contested poll.
In a letter addressed to the Jubbaland Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (JBIEC), UN head in Somalia James Swan raised questions over the parameters for the election of new president and selection of MPs.
“How will the JIEBC ensure that all potential candidates with areasonable case to stand for the Presidency are able to do so?” the letter read in part.
The letter which also carries the weight of the regional body IGAD, AMISOM, US among other countries with representation in Somalia also sought clarity on how the Council of Elders will settle on one MP from the list of three candidates.
Coming amidst heightened political tension in Jubbaland as the Jubbaland administration clashes with the Federal Government over the much anticipated exercise,
Swan’s letter will likely generate more debate on the credibility of the exercise schedule for later in the month.
The Federal Government Thursday warned against what it termed as failure to comply with the electoral procedures in Jubbaland.
The Interior Ministry said it will only recognise elders registered by the Federal Government to participate in the elections noting failure to abide by the set procedures ‘will have consequences’.
The letter from the UN dated August 8, 2018 also called on the JIEBC to set out ‘a criteriain standing as a Presidentialcandidate that permit a wide range of qualified political figures from Jubaland to compete’.
It further urged the electoral body to consult widely with the communities in Jubbaland on the composition of the elders to ensure confidence in the final list.
Opposition candidates announced Thursday the formation of an 11 member parallel electoral body to oversee the upcoming poll further exacerbating an already fluid political situation in the southerly state.
The concerns by the UN also follows allegations of heavy involvement of regional countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia in the electoral process with the Federal Government seeking to install its preferred candidate in place of current president Ahmed Islam Madobe.