The UN has once again expressed doubts over the credibility of elections in Jubbaland pressing for ‘more improvements’ by the electoral commission as the Federal Government rubbishes the outcome of the parliamentary elections as a nullity.
Responding to the electoral body JBIEC, UN head in Somalia James Swan said in a letter seen Online that the modest additional measures by the polls body ‘regrettably fall short’ of demands earlier raised by the international community.
“Unless the key concerns of all stakeholders are addressed, there is a serious risk that the outcome of the electoral process will not enjoy the broad support necessary to maintain unity and stability in Jubbaland and thereby consolidate Somalia’s state building,” the letter dated August 17 read in part.
Swan, whose office and that of other international stakeholders including the US, AU and IGAD had called for broad measures to ensure the credibility of the poll said the elections must take place in at atmosphere that enhances ‘political, economic and development priorities’.
The international community (IC) in a letter dated August 8 addressed to JBIEC Chairman Dr. Hamza Abdi Barre raised concerns over the registration of presidential candidates urging the polls body to put in place measures to ensure all qualified candidates get a chance to register and contest in the presidential elections. The IC also questioned the rationale for choosing one MP from the list of three settled to by the Council of Elders.
But in a rejoinder August 10, Dr. Barre said his team had done its best to secure credibility of the exercise including extension of the presidential registration timelines. He however warned against reopening the exercise citing security concerns and electoral timelines.
But on Friday, JBIEC extended the registration of presidential candidates for three days following pressure from the international community.
Coupled with dismissal by the Federal Government of the new parliament, the demands by the UN adds to the increasing contestations in one of Somalia’s most controversial poll coming eight months since the South West poll marred by violence and tussle between Mogadishu and Baidoa. The violence left at least 10 people dead.