‘Foreign nations must stop interfering in Somalia election’: Candidate
Somali presidential candidate Mohamed Ali Nur “America” has warned that the upcoming election “should not be rushed”.
In a radio interview, Mr Ali, Somalia’s former ambassador to Kenya, congratulated the “legitimately elected Members of Parliament and Senators”, but strongly warned against the notion that an incomplete federal parliament may sit and elect its leadership and the country’s next president.
“We have a constitution. Article 64, clause 2 stipulates that that the full 275-member Lower House must sit to elect a House Speaker or a President,” the candidate said.
He was responding to the federal indirect election committee’s announcement postponing the 2016 election a third time. Further, the committee declared that the federal parliament will sit once a quorum of 184 MPs are elected by the regional electoral colleges.
‘40 parliament seats’ in dispute
But Ambassador Ali disagreed with this position, arguing that elections for federal president in 2004, 2009 and 2012 occurred only once a full 275-member Lower House was mandated.
“There are more than 40 cases currently in dispute, whereby some MPs were elected through illegal means including corruption and robbery of seats. We need these issues to be resolved first,” Mr Ali said.
The presidential contender said he “regrets the new election delay”, adding: “There is conflict, insecurity and drought around the country and each delayed day creates more problems. We believe the current process of quick presidential election is unwise and that the president should be elected legitimately,” he affirmed.
‘Foreign interference in Somali election’
Mr Ali indicated that he was aware of “foreign interference” in the ongoing Somali election.
“We oppose foreign interference in the Somali election. It must stop. I will not name countries. The Somali people must be free to make their political choices so that they get a legitimate election and can prepare for the popular vote in 2020,” Mr Ali said.
Media reports say that countries, including Turkey, Qatar and the UAE, were playing a direct role in the Somali election, in a competition for regional influence.
The countries in question have competing interests in the region, as Somalia recovers from decades of war and strengthens its governmental institutions.