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Concerns raised over Somali parliamentary candidates with criminal records

Concerns raised over Somali parliamentary candidates with criminal records

Somalia

The international community has raised concerns over the inclusion of individuals with criminality, violence and terrorism backgrounds on the list of candidates for Somalia’s Upper House of Parliament.

The United Nations, African Union, European Union, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, Ethiopia, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States said in a joint statement on Monday that they are deeply concerned about the list submitted by some leaders of federal member states.

“The nomination and potential election of any individual responsible for the violence that characterized Somalia’s civil war represent a regressive step at a time when Somalia is poised to turn a new page,” the statement added.

They advised all stakeholders to take their concerns into consideration as voting to choose candidates for the house continues.

“A rejection of parliamentary candidates who have been implicated in some of the country’s worst human rights abuses will reaffirm Somalia’s commitment to end the culture of impunity in the eyes of its own citizens and the world at large,” the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating said.

The international community added that Somalis and international partners deserve to have confidence in the parliament that will be elected into office later this month, therefore, those individuals should not be chosen by electoral colleges to represent their clans and sub-clans in the lower house of Parliament.

14,025 delegates of an electoral college selected by Somali clan elders will vote 275 members into the House.

This election is the first since 1984 and the elected members are expected to elect the president in November.

Incumbent president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is standing for re-election despite al-Shabaab’s threat to disrupt it.

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