The rival sides of Jubbaland state have announced two different lists of new lawmakers ahead of much anticipated presidential poll in August.
Jubbaland’s contentious Poll agency which is accused of backing the state’s outgoing leader Ahmed Mohamed Madobe has tabled a list of 73 new lawmakers said to have been selected by elders.
According to a statement by the Electoral Commission of Jubbaland, the appointment of new members came as a result of over two weeks long process spearheaded by clan elders.
The team said the selection process was based on the current clan power-sharing system in Somalia, known as [4.5].
Not far from where the new list of MPs was announced, an opposing section of Jubbaland Electoral Commission supported by the most candidates has lined up a new list of lawmakers said to have come as result of consultation between elders drawn from different clans in the state.
The 75 list members appointed by the later poll agency were said to be paving the way for the formation of the second Jubaland parliament.
Apart from the incumbent leader of the state, over 12 other potential candidates have thrown their weight behind the second newly appointed members of the parliament of Jubband.
The political crisis in the state has been escalating for the last two months, forcing international Community led by IGAD and the UN to intervene in the situation.
Both organizations called for free and fair elections in Jubbaland state.
In a letter addressed to Madobe appointed electoral Commission, United Nations (UN) envoy in Somalia, James Swan raised red flag over potential waves of conflict that could be caused by lack of free and fair elections in Jubbaland state.
The envoy questioned the procedures and directions about the upcoming elections.
“How will the JIEBC ensure that all potential candidates with area sonable case to stand for the Presidency are able to do so?” the letter read in part.
Hours after the UN envoy’s letter, Jubbaland Council of Elders expressed concern over potential election rigging in the state, accusing the poll agency of bias.
“Apparently, JIEBC set to corrupt the whole election procession in favour of one candidate over the rest,” reads the letter signed by 15 of the elders who are authorized to select Jubbaland assembly members.
The conclusion of the selection process of the lawmakers will pave the way for the state assembly to cast votes for the state President who will become the second one since the Jubbaland Administration was formed in 2013.
Ahead of the August 24 elections, the candidates vying for the top office of the state have geared up their campaign to convince the elders and the regional elders elect them.
The incumbent leader Ahmed Mohamed Madobe who has been ruling the region since 2013 is facing off with several potential candidates.
Among those challenging the leader Ahmed are Abdi Abdi, Mohamed Omar Gedi, Anab Mohamed Abdirahman Ahmed Rabi, Dahir, Abdi Hiis Udan, Mohamoud Mohamed Omar and Mohamed Abdulle Magan.