Thursday December 15, 2016
The panel that rules on election disputes in Somalia has thrown out the results in races for 11 seats in recent parliamentary elections because of numerous irregularities, including gunfire at a polling place.
The decision by the Independent Electoral Disputes Resolution Mechanism is likely to further complicate Somalia’s attempt to hold a presidential election by the end of the year.
Among those whose election win was nullified is Youth and Sports Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan Nuh. He won his seat from the Middle Shabelle region, but has been implicated in gun violence inside the polling place in the town of Jowhar.
The disputes panel has also disqualified him from running in a new election, but 10 other candidates whose wins were nullified will be allowed to run again.
The board says allegations of widespread vote buying and voter intimidation marred the entire election process.
But critics of the panel say there were other high-profile cases of election fraud that are being ignored. They say they included alleged direct interference by the office of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud.
Mohamoud has not responded to the allegations.
The delay in seating a parliament could mean another delay in Somalia’s presidential election, currently scheduled for December 28.
Parliament elects the new president and the vote has already been postponed three times.