#SOMALILANDVOTES: Waddani renews poll irregularities claims, distance itself from expected results

Waddani party presidential contender Abdirahman Irro speaking to the media after casting his vote Nov 13. Photo: VOA

Somaliland’s opposition party Waddani has declared it is distancing itself from the expected presidential poll results citing numerous incidents of electoral malpractices, intimidation and arrest of its officials.

Speaking barely two days after declaring confidence the electoral body would address its concerns and noting he had vacated his earlier position of cutting links with the polls body, Waddani presidential candidate Abdirahman Irro said he would not be party to ‘unfairness and unconstitutional activities’.

“The Somaliland Electoral Commission also admitted to have lost some voting papers which were found in the market, ballot boxes having many voters than assigned for a particular place. Dead people also voted,” Irro said adding, “I am informing the Somaliland public and the Waddani supporters that we shall not accept unfairness and unconstitutional activities.”

“On the 13th November, my agents reported 1200 incidents that included fighting, threats, electoral irregularities and other problems.”

The presidential contender who was a long serving speaker of Somaliland Lower House said his party would resort to peaceful means to have its concerns addressed.

Irro’s remarks which come as the polls body is expected to announce the results of the November 13 elections adds to a barrage of complaints the party has raised since the conclusion of the election. Earlier, Waddani had warned that fake ballot papers were used during the exercise leading to protests. Protesters stormed a printing firm in Burao in Toghdeer region last Thursday over claims the firm had printed the alleged fake papers.

But in a joint conference with the Somaliland National Electoral Commission (SLNEC) chairman Abdikadir Iman Warsame Saturday, Irro said they had resolved the contentious issues among them establishing all ballot papers used were genuine.

UCID’s presidential contender Faisal Warabe however sounded up beat of the electoral process terming it a step forward in the country’s democracy.

“Since elections, bad words have been coming out. Our elections on the 13th November was a milestone across the world,” said Warabe. He also called for an end to any post elections clashes noting the need for adherence to the constitution.

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