Somali parties warn government against interfering in Jubbaland polls

A group of Somali political parties have warned the Federal Government of Somalia against interfering in the upcoming presidential elections in Jubbaland regional state.

In a press statement, the opposition parties of Wadajir, UPD, Ilays, Himilo, Nabadda and the National Rescue Parliamentary Bloc also urged neighbouring countries to refrain from interfering in Somali regional state elections.

“The parties express strong concern regarding the naked interference in the Jubbaland elections by the Somali Presidency and the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA),” the statement said, and called on the leaders of the federal government to “cease their acts of hindrance and let the Jubbaland security agencies take charge of the security of the elections.”

“The parties warn some of our neighbouring countries who, as it has emerged, have been involved in new activities that may create suspicions, to distance themselves from interference in matters regional elections, as this is not part of their mandate,” the parties added in their statement.

The parties also called on the Jubbaland state’s electoral commission to ensure a free, fair and transparent election.

“The national political parties welcome the progress made in the election process of the Jubbaland regional state and urge the state’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries’ Commission to take responsibility for ensuring the elections are open, free and fair,” the statement said.

Finally, the parties congratulated the Jubbaland regional state for its success in holding its parliamentary and presidential elections on the scheduled time.

Jubbaland state is expected to hold parliamentary and presidential elections later this month.

The current state president, Ahmed Madobe, is fighting to retain his seat but faces very stiff competition from other presidential candidates, some of whom are backed by the Federal Government of Somalia.