In Summary
  • The UN said the federal government should use one mode of voting to avoid conflict.
  • The statement came after Madobe’s rivals announced a parallel electoral commission.
  • The group also wanted the formation of a parliamentary committee for elections to manage the polls.

Jubbaland President Sheikh Ahmed Islam Madobe may have received a boost in his re-election bid after a statement by the UN cautioned against parallel electoral processes.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ Special Representative to Somalia James Swan said the federal government should use one mode of voting to avoid conflict.

“We will continue to reiterate the need for a single, agreed process according to the Jubbaland constitution and consistent with the federal provisional constitution, and the need to avoid interference or intimidation of any kind,” the envoy wrote in an August 8 letter to Jubbaland Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Hamza Abdi Barre.

INSTABILITY

Swan, also the UN Assistance Mission to Somalia (Unsom) head, said any division on the electoral process could cause instability in the region, which could potentially affect reforms in the entire country.

And while he urged “further consultations to ensure confidence” in the polls, the call against interference or violence could boost Madobe’s argument that Mogadishu is a meddler.

Swan said he was writing on behalf of Unsom, the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (Igad), Kenya, African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), Austria, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, the European Union, the Netherlands, the UK and US — indicating the growing interest in the election.

PARALLEL COMMISSION

The statement came after Madobe’s rivals announced a parallel electoral commission.

Known as the Union of Presidential candidates for Change in Jubbaland, the group is composed of politicians, some of who have been ruled out of the contest for failing to meet the tough criteria set by the Jubbaland electoral agency.

They had demanded the relisting of the elders’ council meant to elect MPs, arguing that it was biased and called for local and international observers.

The group also wanted the formation of a parliamentary committee for elections to manage the polls.

DEMANDS REJECTED

The Jubbaland electoral agency rejected the demands.

Ugas Omar Hiirey, the spokesman of the Jubbaland Council of Elders, defended the list as genuine — refuting claims of the opposition group and the federal government in Mogadishu.

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