Somalia: South West State polls marred by rigging claims
MOGADISHU, Somalia –The South West polls has been marred by growing tensions and rigging claims, after the regional electoral commission has postponed presidential elections in South West State for the third time
The president election which was scheduled to hold December 5 has now been postponed to December 19.
It is the third time to be delayed.
Three candidates for the Southwest regional leadership say there is a “constitutional crisis” in Baidoa as the term of the acting leader (Abdulkadir Sharif Shekhuna) has ended December 7, 2018, according to statement by Ibrahim Moallim Nur, Mukhtar Robow and Aden Saransor.
The election is a two horse race pitting Mukhtar Robow aka Abu Mansur, former al-Shabaab Deputy Commander and spokesman, who quit the militant group against Somalia’s former minister Abdiaziz Hassan aka Laftagareen. The government backs the latter.
Insiders say the government wants to unleash two other candidates in their camp to stand with the above two clear favourites in the first round of voting and then announce their resignation and support Laftagareen in a bid to sway support for him.
However, Somalia’s National Assembly Speaker Mohamed Mursal, who hails from South West State, deferred with President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre over plans to block the people’s choice, Mukhtar Robow, from vying.