Stop meddling in S. West polls, civil society, professionals warn

The professionals and civil society groups in South West call for end to interference in the state elections

A group of professionals and civil society leaders from South West state have called for an end to meddling of state presidential elections pointing fingers at the federal government amid resignation of president Sharif Adan and withdrawal from the race.

In a joint statement, the two groups comprising of 24 individuals said they were concerned by developments in Baidoa noting failure to address the concerns and allow free and fair elections could result in instability in the region.

“We have received reports that the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) is applying manipulative methods to seek change and influence the outcome rather than strengthening a fair and democratic process with transparency, integrity and fairness,” the group said.

The group further accused the federal government of ‘the unconstitutional interference overshadowing people’s choices, depriving them of their constitutional rights to express their free political will in their own accord’.

The remarks follow the resignation of the Adan Wednesday and the electoral committee last Sunday, developments which the group note were ‘alarming’.

Acknowledging there was need for change in South West, the group said such must be realized through peaceful and a fair democratic process.

The statement copied to among others President Mohamed Farmaajo, AU, UN and US envoys call for an end to meddling and to allow the electoral process to be concluded in a free and fair way. An Election Integrity and Awareness Committee must be established to mediate any dispute and ensure a free and fair process, the group calls.

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