Regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) has urged Jubbaland presidential candidates to work within the electoral laws in the federal state, warning they could make or break the efforts to stabilise the country.
On a tour of Kismayu, the capital of Jubbaland, Igad Special Envoy Mohamed Ali Guyo called on the state to follow a process that will not splinter the region.
The Igad envoy spoke a day before a group of opposition presidential candidates under the Union of Presidential Candidates for Change in Jubbaland made a controversial announcement saying they had a new electoral commission that set new dates for the elections.
The new ‘commission’ of 12 officials announced it will start selecting MPs who will in turn vote in the president.
However, the move could be illegal, as the incumbent president Madobe had already appointed the electoral commission.
Madobe’s commission has, however, ran into disputes with President Mohamed Farmaajo’s administration. Mogadishu disagrees with the choice of elders meant to select the local MPs who in turn elect the president.
According to an earlier statement from President Farmaajo, some of the elders, appointed by the electoral commission, were not cleared by security agencies.
The law allows state presidents to appoint electoral commissions, which in turn selects the elders’ councils, formed from representatives of major clans in the regional states. The commission also set the electoral rules.
“When it comes to state elections in the (Somali) federal system, it is always the state that has the sole responsibility of administering its elections,” Mr Abdirizak Mohamed, an MP in the Somali Federal Parliament tweeted.
“The FGS (federal government of Somalia) is trying to sway the election in Jubbaland in favour of its own candidate in a blatant violation of our constitution,” he added.
Among those challenging Mr Madobe include Abdinasir Seraar, a former spokesman in Madobe’s administration and Mohamed Dahir Marsheye who once worked with the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Others are Mohamoud Mohamed Omar, Mohamed Omar Gedi, Mohamed Abdulle Magan, Anab Mohamed Dahir, Abdi Hiis Udan, Ahmed Abdi Abdi and Abdirahman Ahmed Rabi.