Foreign envoys on Wednesday called on Somali leaders to swiftly address various malpractices to ensure credibility of the electoral process.
In a joint statement issued in Mogadishu, envoys from the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ethiopia, Italy, Sweden, Britain and the United States urged the National Leadership Forum (NLF) to uphold accountability, transparency and legitimacy of electoral process.
They also called on the Independent Electoral Dispute Resolution Mechanism (IEDRM) to address serious irregularities during the electoral process, including bribery, intimidation, kidnapping, manipulation of delegate lists and failure to comply with the mandatory requirement to reserve seats for female candidates.
According to the international partners, there has been frustration over a lack of feedback from the IEDRM.
“For the sake of accountability, transparency and credibility, international partners call upon the IEDRM to publicize the complaints and how it processed them,” the statement said.
The envoys also called on the NLF, the highest authority that created the IEDRM and that is responsible for safeguarding the legitimacy of the electoral process, to work with the IEDRM to ensure accountability for the electoral abuse.
They maintained that the electoral process must now be concluded swiftly and in a successful and credible manner.
Michael Keating, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, said the NLF should reach a decision on the disputed seats in the House of the People in a prompt and fair manner that is broadly acceptable to the people of Somalia and the international community.
“Any attempt to gloss over the irregularities that plagued some of the voting will not only affect the acceptability of the outcome of the electoral process and compromise the legitimacy of the anticipated new government, but also play into the hands of spoilers and violent extremists bent on discrediting a process that has already achieved greater inclusiveness and more women’s representation in Somali politics,” he said.