Parallel poll agencies tussle over Jubbaland elections

Tuesday August 13 2019

A man casts his ballot on November 16, 2016, in

A man casts his ballot on November 16, 2016, in Somalia. Jubbaland will hold elections on August 21,2019. PHOTO | SIMON MAINA | AFP 

AGGREY MUTAMBO
By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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Barely a week to Somalia’s Jubbaland state elections, the vote could be headed for uncertainty after a group of rival candidates announced a list of MPs to pick the president.

The Union of Jubbaland Presidential Candidates for Change on Tuesday published a list of 75 members of the local legislative assembly— spread across the main clans in the state—to rival the a list announced by official poll agency Jubbaland Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (JIEBC).

The list includes 21 representatives from the Kumade (Darood) clan, 19 from the Marehan, 10 from the Mirifle and seven from Harti clan.

Others include one from the Lelakase, four from Dir, six from Hawiye and seven others shared among other non-Somali speaking and smaller tribes.

Defying warning by the United Nations, the 12 rival candidates had on Monday also announced a parallel electoral commission.

The opposition group chaired Ahmed Aabi Adan alleges bias from JIEBC. They accuse it of working to secure victory for the incumbent federal President Sheikh Ahmed Islam ‘Madobe’.

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Ideally, JIEBC, chaired by Dr Hamza Abdi Barre, should be the legal commission formed based on local state laws.

However, the question of who conducts the polls seems to be the point of contention between rival candidates.

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