Perpetrators eye seats in Somali parliament
From SAAD MUSE in Mogadishu, Somalia
MOGADISHU, (CAJ News) – THE international community is concerned by the inclusion of individuals with a history of criminality, violence and terrorism on the lists of candidates for Somalia’s upcoming general election.
Civil strife-torn Somalia will later this month and November elect a president and members of the Upper House of Parliament and House of the People.
However, United Nations, African Union, European Union, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, Ethiopia, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States expressed concern with the shady history of some nominees.
Over 14 000 electoral college delegates convene later this month to choose legislators.
Registration of candidates is underway for the 275 seats of the House of the People.
Concerned countries and organisations said individuals with documented histories of criminality and violence should not be chosen by electoral colleges to represent their clans and sub-clans in the lower house of Parliament.
They said the nomination and potential election of individuals responsible for violence that characterised Somalia’s civil war represented a regressive step as Somalia is poised to turn a new page.
Michael Keating, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, pointed out Somalia was emerging from 25 years of armed conflict.
“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.”
– CAJ News
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