HirShabelle faces uncertainty due to escalating tension over election

Last month, the U.S. imposed visa restrictions for Somali leaders after failing to hold a timely, transparent, and credible election in the country. Washington is a key partner in the fight against the Al-Shabaab group.

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HirShabelle faces uncertainty due to escalating tension over election

BELEDWEYNE, Somalia - Hiran Governor Ali Jeyte has issued a statement on Sunday announcing the suspension of the parliamentary election in Beledweyne, central Somalia, citing security concerns.

Jeyte said if the election is held without resolving the standoff and the stalemate between HirShabelle state president Ali Gudlawe and his deputy Yusuf Dabaged could lead to an attack on the polling station.

Sources said the dispute between the two leaders is centered on 11 parliamentary seats that candidates close to Farmajo are seeking to occupy without a race, an attempt that was challenged by Gudlawe.

Fighting over the disputed elections is feared to erupt again in the city after Villa Somalia has deployed Turkish-trained troops to interfere with the voting exercise as it wants to produce pro-Farmajo MPs.

Since last year, 222 out of the 275-member Lower House were elected, including 45 female lawmakers that fell short of the expected 30% of women’s quota in the parliament. Male candidates dominated the election.

HirShabelle, Puntland, Galmudug, and Jubaland are on the brink to miss the March 15 deadline set for the finalization of the long-delayed electoral process.

Last month, the U.S. imposed visa restrictions for Somali leaders after failing to hold a timely, transparent, and credible election in the country. Washington is a key partner in the fight against the Al-Shabaab group.

Somalia failed to elect a new parliament at the end of the current government’s mandate due to Farmajo’s lack of readiness to hand over power smoothlyly to an elected successor.

KEYDMEDIA English

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