Somali presidential candidates threaten to hold own elections

Somali opposition presidential candidates have threatened to hold parallel elections if the federal government does not disband recently appointed electoral bodies and if it does not engage in consultation with the opposition and other political stakeholders to appoint agreed upon electoral commissions at regional and federal levels.

In a communique they released today after a five-day meeting in the capital, Mogadishu, the 14 presidential candidates also called for resignation of the director of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), Fahad Yasin Haji Dahir, accusing him of deviating from his role and working as the chief campaigner for the re-election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

“The disbandment of the electoral bodies at both regional and federal levels. New electoral commission should be appointed in consultation with all those concerned with the management of the election, including the federal government, the regional states and the Council of Presidential Candidates Union,” the communique read in part.

“That Mr Fahad Yasin step down as the director of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) since he is the chief campaigner for the re-election of the presidential candidate, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmao, whose term of office is about to end, in order to ensure the neutrality of the agency,” the communique said.

The candidates also demanded that the election of the representatives of Somaliland and Banadir regions in the new electoral bodies should be held in the Afisyone airforce camp and managed only by the Somali police and the African Union troops.

Should the government fails to heed their demand to establish agreed upon and all-inclusive electoral commissions, the Council of Presidential Candidates Union, “with the support of various sectors of the society, will work towards holding an electoral process to save the country from power and constitutional vacuums,” the statement concluded.