Somalia elections: United Nations fears new delays are 'politically motivated'
Wednesday September 28, 2016 - 14:40:23 in News in English by Samiir Cabdi
Somalia elections: United Nations fears new delays are 'politically motivated' The United Nations (UN) has expressed concern after a new delay in Somalia's presidential and legislative elections, which the nation's foreign minister blamed on political issues and threats from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group Al-Shabaab.
Due to start last weekend, the internationally-backed Somali elections have now been postponed again until late October according to Omar Mohamed Abdulle, the chairman of the electoral commission. Presidential elections will only take place on 30 November, while parliamentary elections have now been rescheduled to take place between 23 October and 10 November.
With direct elections beset by a number of issues including infrastructure constraints and security, the government – the term of which expired at the end of last month – announced in 2015 it was abandoning the idea of holding a popular one-person one-vote.
Foreign Minister Abdusalam H Omer, meanwhile, tried to reassure the Security Council of "the unwavering commitment of the federal government to holding a credible and inclusive electoral process in 2016".
Political and technical issues including agreements with tribal elders and voter delegates have been intensified by Al-Shabaab's apparent intention to disrupt Somalia's political transition: the group has increased its high-impact attacks over the past few months. As Somalia looks to be on the path of recovering from decades of civil war that has left up to half a million dead, Al-Shabaab carried out eight attacks on the capital Mogadishu, a city from which it withdrew in 2011.