Lawmakers in a volatile region of Somalia elected the federal government’s preferred candidate as its leader on Wednesday after a popular former al Shabaab leader was barred from running in the vote seen as test of the country’s political progress. As part of an internationally backed attempt to end decades of lawlessness by spreading power more widely among the multiple clans, states are meant to be more independent of central government, with the authority to select their own leaders. But any sign that that is being subverted in practice or a sense that a leader is being imposed by stealth by the central government could further stoke instability and violence.Full Article: Mogadishu-Backed Candidate Wins Test-Case Regional Somali Election | World News | US News.
Articles about voting issues in Somalia.
The determination by the Somalia federal government to influence the outcome of the Southwest State’s presidential election has raised doubts about whether the polls will still be held on December 19 having already been postponed three times. The election was initially set for November 17, but was pushed to November 28 and then December 5, due to what the government says is lack of equipment and ballot papers. However, experts on Somalia say that the government of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is determined to get a friendly leader in Southwest State especially after the regional leaders threatened to suspend their cooperation with the centre in September.Full Article: Row over candidate leaves Somalia election in doubt - The East African.
Musa Bihi Abdi of the ruling Kulmiye party was declared the winner of Somaliland’s presidential election on Tuesday, by the election commission of the breakaway region. Situated at the northern tip of east Africa on the Gulf of Aden – one of the busiest trade routes in the world – Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has been relatively peaceful since. The region of 4 million people has not been internationally recognized but it has recently drawn in sizeable investments from the Gulf. In the election, Abdi won just over 55 percent of the vote, while opposition leader Abdirahman Iro took nearly 41 percent, election commission chairman Iman Warsame said. Turnout was 80 percent.Full Article: Somaliland picks ruling party's candidate as new president.
Following Somaliland’s third presidential election on 13 November 2017, the 60-member mission, funded by Britain’s government and drawing on members from 27 countries is now finalizing its interim report to Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission as observers return to Hargeisa. Says chief observer Dr. Michael Walls of the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at University College London (UCL) and Somaliland Focus UK: “On election day, we are pleased to have observed a poll that in the main seems to have preserved the integrity of the electoral process. While we are aware of some key concerns, these do not seem to be substantive and systematic enough to have undermined the election itself, and we congratulate Somaliland on a largely peaceful process; another progressive step in their electoral evolution.”Full Article: Somalia: Int'l observers congratulate Somaliland on a peaceful poll
Somalia: Somaliland 1st in World to Use Iris Scanner Technology to Stem Voter Fraud | teleSUR English
Somaliland, a semi-autonomous region of Somalia, was the guinea pig for iris-recognition technology at a presidential poll, according to election spokesman Saed Ali Muse. The self-declared sovereign state became the first in the world to use the scanners, which is the world’s most sophisticated voting register. Somaliland’s implementation of iris recognition devices follow incidents involving duplication of voters and other alleged fraud and logistic problems dating back to the 2008 elections.Full Article: Somaliland: 1st in World to Use Iris Scanner Technology to Stem Voter Fraud | News | teleSUR English.
Officials began counting votes in the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland after residents today took part in its third presidential poll, hoping to bolster its democratic credentials and strengthen the case for independence from troubled Somalia. The northern territory, which is more tribally homogenous and stable than the rest of Somalia, broke away in 1991 and has been striving to attain international recognition ever since, without success. As vote tallying began shortly after 6:00 pm (1500 GMT), a social media blackout was imposed. The national electoral commission said the move was necessary to prevent interference from outside the borders of the semi-autonomous state and speculation over the outcome.Full Article: Vote counting begins after breakaway Somaliland’s Presidential poll | The Indian Express.
Somaliland, the self-declared republic in northwestern Somalia, has announced it will restrict access to social media sites during its upcoming presidential elections. The electoral commission has asked phone companies to block more than a dozen social media outlets in order to limit hate speech and “fake news”. It includes Facebook, Twitter,WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Duo, Google Plus, among others. The commission blamed what it called “external forces” for spreading “inciteful and tribalistic” information (in Somali) and decried its inability to control the proliferation of these messages. As a result, the sites will be down starting from when voting ends on Nov. 13 up until the results are declared.Full Article: Somaliland is blocking Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and Viber during elections to avoid fake news — Quartz.
The Electoral Commission of Somaliland called for the internet to be turned off during the Presidential Election expected to be held on 8 November 2017, Garowe Online reports. “The commission has requested for the shutdown of the Internet access across Somaliland amid fears of violence during the election period,” said an election expert, who spoke to GO over the phone. “It’s the first time that three influence candidates are vying for the Presidency,” he told GO over the phone on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the Media.Full Article: Somalia: Somaliland to shut down the internet during elections.
Somalia’s Supreme Court has nullified several seats of the Lower House chamber considered to be rigged during the parliamentary electoral process in the regional states last year, Garowe Online reports. A total of 8 seats were ordered for re-contest for failing to adhere to the rules of the electoral process, ruling in favor of the appellants who filed for complains against the voting results.Full Article: Somalia: Supreme Court nullifies parliamentary seats, calls for re-e lection.
Celebrations have erupted on the streets of Somalia after parliamentarians elected a new president, with crowds chanting songs and firing automatic weapons into the night sky. The election of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, a 55-year-old former prime minister and dual US-Somali national with a reputation for independence and competence, has raised the hopes of millions of people in the poor and violent east African state. “I am really happy. I prayed hard. Now we have a good president. I hope he will take care of our country,” said Khadra Mohamud Ahmed, 42, from Mogadishu. Critics said the election – the most extensive and expensive democratic exercise in Somalia for decades – has entrenched divides between the country’s many traditional clans and encouraged graft. But others described it as a “way station” to political stability and full democracy. Michael Keating, the UN special representative for Somalia, described the poll as a “political process with electoral features”, and “pretty brave to do”.Full Article: Ex-Somali PM heralds 'new beginning' after presidential election win | World news | The Guardian.
After a series of delays, allegations of rampant corruption and the abandonment of a promise to return to true democratic elections, Somalia was expected to finally elect its president Wednesday. It will not be an election as the rest of the world knows it, however. Having been elected to lead the country’s first federal government since the toppling of its military dictatorship and onset of civil war in 1991, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud promised one-person, one-vote elections by 2016. They would have been the first of their kind in the country for nearly 50 years. But he announced he was abandoning the proposal in 2015 due to ongoing security concerns. Instead, the next presidential vote would be conducted via a complicated system decided by clan elders, he said. Last year, 135 clan elders began selecting the 14,025 delegates to comprise the 275 electoral colleges, each of whom began voting in October for an MP for the lower house of parliament. Together, with the 54 members of the newly created upper house chosen by Somalia’s new federal states, they will elect a speaker and a president.Full Article: Somalia Elections 2017: Date, Candidates, News, Election Process Explainer Ahead Of Unique Presidential Vote.
Somalia’s capital Mogadishu was under security lockdown Tuesday, with roads and schools closed and residents urged to remain indoors a day before the country holds a long-delayed presidential election. Fears are high that the Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab group will seek to disrupt the election by carrying out an attack on the capital. Twin car bombs at a popular hotel left at least 28 dead two weeks ago. Heavily armed security personnel patrolled the streets of the capital, while several main roads were blocked off with sand berms and residents of the capital were urged by Mayor Yusuf Hussein Jimale to stay indoors. “My children did not go to school because of the election and my husband who works as a policeman had to stay on duty for the last three days. This thing is taking too long and people would be relieved if they could see an end to this drama,” mother-of-four Samiya Abdulkadir said.Full Article: Somali Capital On Lockdown Ahead Of Presidential Vote.
Somalia will hold its presidential election on February 8, its electoral commission said Wednesday, after months of delays in a tortuous process for the conflict-torn country. Candidates will have until January 29 to register, the commission said in a statement. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a 61-year-old former academic and activist from the Hawiye clan, is seeking re-election. The vote will come six months after it was originally set for August, following delays in the election of lawmakers because of clan disputes, fraud accusations and organisational challenges.Full Article: .:Middle East Online:::..
Somalia on Tuesday swore in new lawmakers after weeks of voting in a complex political process seen as its most democratic election in nearly five decades, despite significant flaws. The new parliament was inaugurated under tight security in Mogadishu two months after voting began. Lawmakers are expected to elect a president by secret ballot, however it was unclear when that would take place. The vote for president has been put off several times as a result of delays in the election of lawmakers due to clan disputes, accusations of fraud, and organisational challenges. Top election official Omar Mohamed Abdulle said 284 members of parliament were sworn in. Some lawmakers were absent while other seats were still subject to disputes.Full Article: Somalia swears in new MPs amid vote criticism | News24.
Somalia has decided to delay its presidential election for a fourth time amid allegations of fraud and intimidation, an electoral official said Monday. The vote had been set for Wednesday, but the official said it likely will be Jan. 24 instead, though leaders were discussing the specific timing. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. This Horn of Africa nation is riven by clan rivalries and threatened by al-Shabab Islamic extremists opposed to Western-style democracy.Full Article: Somalia to delay election for 4th time, official says - StarTribune.com.
Somalia’s presidential elections, scheduled to begin this week, have been postponed for a third time, the electoral body said Monday. Omar Mohamed Abdulle, head of Somalia’s electoral body, said elections slated for Wednesday will not happen as planned. Abdulle did not offer a new date, but said the next president will be elected before the end of this year. Somalia’s parliament members will elect the new president. However, parliamentary elections to elect new lawmakers have not been completed in all regions of the country. The parliamentary voting was marred by irregularities and corruption, and Somalia’s electoral body is investigating allegations of election malpractice. Somalia’s auditor general, Nur Jimale Farah, told VOA’s Somali service earlier this month that some of the parliamentary seats were bought by the highest bidder.Full Article: Somalia's Presidential Election Postponed for Third Time.
With its security-sealed plastic boxes and cardboard polling booths, Somalia’s election –- under way since last month and still ongoing –- has the trappings of democracy, but few of the functions. Last week in the western city of Baidoa, 51 handpicked representatives of the Reer Aw Hassan clan took an hour to vote unanimously for Abdiweli Ibrahim Ali Sheikh Mudey, a current minister and the only candidate to show up on the day. Among Mudey’s backers were 15 enthusiastic female voters. “We selected the most beautiful man!” cheered one as Mudey smiled in his dark aviator sunglasses, a garland of purple tinsel round his neck. Just 14,025 of the Somalia’s perhaps 12 million citizens are voting for 275 MPs, who will join 54 appointed senators in voting for a new president, in an election described as “limited”.Full Article: In Somalia, voting under way but democracy delayed | Daily Mail Online.
Somalia’s electoral team failed to meet the September 24 deadline for the start of the elections of members of the Lower House, raising concerns the delay could affect the election of the president slated for October 30. By Saturday, the day polling stations were set to open in the regional capitals, the Federal Indirect Elections Implementing Team, FIEIT and its state level equivalent were still held up in a meeting to iron out contentious issues. The polls body said in a statement on September 21 that elders tasked with choosing the delegates who will elect members of the Lower House were yet to submit their lists to the electoral body even as it emerged clans were not willing to reserve seats to women in line with the poll procedures.Full Article: Somalia misses date set to start elections - Daily Nation.
Somalia will hold a delayed presidential vote on October 30 with parliamentary polls starting next month, an official statement sent to AFP Monday said, in what international backers hope will signal a long-awaited return to stability. The UN-sponsored Somalia Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) met with the leaders of the country’s regional governments along with the president to decide on the electoral calendar, it said in the statement. The FIEIT said parliamentary voting will be held from September 24 to October 10.Full Article: Somalia sets presidential vote for October 30 | Daily Mail Online.
War-torn Somalia will not be able to hold full elections due next year, lawmakers said Tuesday, although it remained unclear whether some kind of voting process would still be held. The current President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and parliament were appointed by clan elders in 2012 with foreign backers promising full democracy in 2016, signalling an end to decades of chaos and instability.Full Article: Somalia unable to hold full elections in 2016 | News24.