UN envoy reiterates his call for free and fair elections in Jubbaland

United Nations (UN) envoy in Somalia, James Swan has called for peaceful, free and fair elections in Jubbaland state.

In a letter addressed to Jubbaland Electoral Commission, Mr. James has said measures are taken by Jubbaland electoral commission “falls short” following the call by the International Community.

The commission reopened registration for candidates and the extended election date, a move is seen insufficient.

“We have taken note of the additional steps that the JIBEC intends to take, including the opening of registration process until 19 August, a short extension to the timetable for the presidential election to 22 August and a limited role parliamentary leaders in organizing the elections,” the letter dated August 17 read in part.

Mr. Swan called for broad measures to ensure the credibility of the poll said the elections must take place in an atmosphere that enhances ‘political, economic and development priorities’.

“Unless the key concerns of all stakeholders are addressed, there is a serious risk that the outcome of the electoral process will not enjoy the broad support necessary to maintain unity and stability in Jubbaland and thereby consolidate Somalia’s state-building,” the envoy said.

The statement comes barely hours after disputed Jubbaland Assembly elected Abdi Mohamed Abdirahman as their speaker.
Sheikh Abdi Mohamed garnered 55 votes while his only contender received 18 votes.

73 members of the newly elected members voted for the assembly leadership on Sunday.
Abdi Mohamed Abdirahman served as the speaker of the Jubbaland assembly in the past parliament.