​The presidential election has been once again delayed, the country’s electoral commission announced late Monday.

Commission chairman Omar Mohamed Abdulle, also known as Omar Dhegey, said the election would not took place Nov. 30 as scheduled.

“We are very sorry to share with Somali people that the presidential election is postponed again because the members of parliament, those who could vote, are not ready,” Dhegay said following a news conference.
“Next date of Somali’s presidential election will be made in December by newly elected members of the next parliament as the election of lower house still continues in the whole of country,” he added.
After the election of the lower house, which could be concluded as early as Dec. 15, lawmakers will elect the speaker of Parliament before the election of Somalia’s next president.
It is the third time in as many months the elections have been postponed.

Somalia’s ongoing parliamentary election ahead of the presidential on November 30 is characterized by vote buying, fraud and violence by candidates.

Farmed Somali Advisor and Author Ahmed Ibrahim Artan also known as Ahmed Haaji Bakiin told the media  that the over 14,000 Electoral College delegates are voting for the highest bidder.
“Some votes were bought with $10,000, some with $15,000, and some with $20,000 or $30,000. But not all seats are equal. Some are influential seats and have a lot of candidates competing for them,” he said.

He also alleged that two seats in Galmudug and the other in Hirshabelle cost the winners $1.3 million each.
Ahmed also told media  that some delegates and candidates were prevented from entering the election halls while polling was ongoing to secure a win for the opponents.
He explained that some of the candidates are desperate to get into parliament to get immunity and protection after a history of violence.
About half of the 275-member Lower House of parliament have been elected and more than half of the 54-member Upper House have been elected by the regional parliaments.


Reeb Fariin

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