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UN envoy says Somali election ‘likely’ to take place in December

More than 14,000 Electoral College delegates are voting for the 275-member Lower House of parliament, and so far, fewer than half of the members have been selected.

by John Thiongo, john@alleastafrica.com

NAIROBI – The United Nations envoy to Somalia insists that presidential elections will take place in Somalia on December 15 after technical problems are resolved and two house legislators are elected amid concerns of fraud and vote buying by candidates.

Speaking to the BBC’s Focus on Africa program on Friday afternoon, Mr. Michael Keateng said that the vote will likely not happen within the time set for it before, but will now take place on December 15. Somali has initially announced that the presidential election would take place on November 30.

“My best guess is that it will happen by about the 15th of December.  But I think the maximum number of MPs for the lower house need to be elected before the competition for the speakers goes ahead.” He said an interview.

“Even if the announcement of the timetable takes place before the bulk of 275 are elected and that might have the effect of accelerating the outstanding elections for the lower house.” he noted.

Meanwhile, Somalia’s auditor general said that massive cases of corruption and voter intimidation have marred the ongoing parliamentary elections in Somalia.

Gen Nur Farah Jimale told BBC that bribes of between $1,000 – $5,000 (£800; £4,000) have been paid, with some candidates have been offering bribes of up to $1.3m (£1m) to secure votes.

Meanwhile, Alleastafrica learned that Somalia’s electoral commission is planning to nullify the election of some legislators over allegations of vote-buying and bribes.

Among the new legislators whose election will have to be nullified is Mahad Salad, Somalia’s minister for presidency, Mustafa Dhuhulow, the former information minister, Sadiq Abdikarim, a presidential aide and Abdikadir Gafow, a brother of the country national intelligence chief.

Indirect elections have been taking place since October as the country remains too unsafe for a national vote.

Much of the country is still under the control of Islamist militant group al-Shabab, which is affiliated to al-Qaeda.

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