Group accuses FGS of vote buying and bribery ahead of S.West polls

A section of candidates and stakeholders from South West state have expressed concerns over what they termed as deliberate moves by the federal government to interfere with the upcoming state presidential elections.
In a statement Monday, Golaha Isbedel-doonka Koonfur Galbeed Soomaaliya roughly translated as Forum for Change in South West state accuses the federal government of bribery and vote buying in a move aimed at denying the people of South West a chance to choose their own candidate.
“Instead     of     helping     the     SWS     people     to     excise     their     constitutionally     enshrined     right     to     express    their     political    will    through    the    ballot     box    and    vote    freely,    the    Federal    Government of     Somalia    (FGS)    is    destroying    the    ongoing    democratic    political    processes    and    using    dictatorship    to    influence    the      election    outcome,” the statement read in part.
The state elections set for November 17 has attracted about ten candidates among former Al-Shabaab number two Mukhtar Robow, former finance minister Mohamed Fargeti, immediate former water and energy minister Abdulaziz Laftagreen and former Intelligence agency, NISA Hussein Hussein.
The statement echoes similar concerns late October by federal member state leaders that the federal government was deploying state resources in support of its candidate. Laftagreen who resigned to contest recently to vie for the state presidency is reportedly being fronted by the federal government.
“FGS    is    using    corruption,    nepotism,    bribery    and  vote    buying    in   order    to install      its       own       favourite       candidate       as       the      president       of       SWS      and       thus,       it       is       destroying the    constitutional    and    political    legitimacy of    the    election    processes,” the forum added.
The forum warned the move by the federal government to interfere with the elections risks ‘plunging the state into a political chaos, insecurity and could potentially pave the way for a renewed civil war’.
It called on the federal government to allow the people of South West to exercise their political and civil rights without influence.
“We     strongly     condemn     the     actions     of     the     FGS     and     warn     of     adverse     consequence     should     the people  of    SWS    are    deprived    of    their    constitutional    rights    and    the    election    is    hijacked    or    rigged.   “

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