PM Sharmarke accuses neighbouring countries of interfering in Somali elections
Incumbent Somali Prime Minister and Presidential hopeful Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke held a press conference today in Mogadishu to voice his concerns about interference in Somalia’s presidential elections.
During his speech, he said that Somalia’s elections are rife with international meddling, specifically from its neighbours. He said they were directly involved in the selection, financing and controlling of a particular candidate.
Although he did not single out a single candidate by name, many believe his comments were directed at President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud; insinuating that he is enjoying the support from neighbouring Ethiopia.
A recent analysis published by the Ethiopia-based Centre for Dialogue Research, and Cooperation (CDRC) on the elections directly endorsed Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for the presidency. The report was widely dismissed by Somali pundits and analysts as Ethiopia’s not-so-veiled attempt influencing the elections.
He called for an election free from interference from Somalia’s neighbours.
“There is tremendous political interference we’re receiving (in the electoral process) from neighbouring countries who have shown their support for a candidate. We demand that they stop interfering in our electoral process as Somali’s are free to choose their candidate and future, ” said the acting Prime Minister. “Even though I do not want to be specific, there is strong lobbying on behalf of a presidential candidate from a neighbouring country to be elected. This can be translated as political bullying.”
Omar Abdirashid is the incumbent Prime Minister of Somalia and one of the 24 candidates who are standing for elections slated for February 8th.