Somalia’s ongoing parliamentary election ahead of the presidential on November 30 is characterized by vote buying, fraud and violence by candidates.
The country’s auditor general Nur Jimale Farah told Voice of America (VOA) that the over 14,000 Electoral College delegates are voting for the highest bidder.
“Some votes were bought with $5,000, some with $10,000, and some with $20,000 or $30,000. But not all seats are equal. Some are influential seats and have a lot of candidates competing for them,” he said.
He also alleged that two seats in Galmudug and the other in Hirshabelle cost the winners $1.3 million each.
Farah also told VOA that some delegates and candidates were prevented from entering the election halls while polling was ongoing to secure a win for the opponents.
He explained that some of the candidates are desperate to get into parliament to get immunity and protection after a history of violence.
About half of the 275-member Lower House of parliament have been elected and more than half of the 54-member Upper House have been elected by the regional parliaments.