UN envoy for Somalia warns against intimidation in MPs selection
The UN Special envoy for Somalia Augustine Mahiga has warned against intimidation in the selection of the Somali Members of Parliament barely three days after the impoverished nation adopted a new provisional constitution for the first time in 43 years. A Technical committee is tasked to do the selection.
Mahiga said that there have been disturbing reports of undue influence from aspiring politicians in current and former positions. This influence takes many forms including exchange and demands for favors, bribery and intimidation.
The UN envoy to Somalia also said that the intimidation is more evident with women candidates, who are often more vulnerable and have less resources making them easier to exclude and exploit and called on them to stop this practice and respect the rights of women to participate in the political process. The new draft constitution gives Somali women a 30% representation in the new government.
The UN has cautioned that anyone found frustrating the Somali peace process will be added to the list of spoilers and might face sanctions, assets freeze and travel ban. However Somali lawmaker Amir argues that if the people’s choice won’t be respected in the selection of MPs then the country risks going back to lawlessness.
Somali lawmakers are also accusing the Technical committee and the Interior and National Security Ministry of frustrating the MPs selection process and demand for transparency in the process.
Following the endorsement of the draft constitution on the 1st of August all that remains is the selection of new lawmakers, the formation of a new parliament and the naming of a new speaker and finally the elections of a new president that will end the eight year old Transitional administration in Somalia.