Kenya protests UN interference in Jubbaland upcoming elections

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019 00:00 |
Former President of Somalia Sheikh Sharif. Photo/FILE

Kenya has asked the international community to stop interfering in the electoral process of Jubbaland saying the United Nations (UN) holds an insensitive position in the upcoming polls.

The government has accused the UN of placing numerous hurdles ahead of elections slated for tomorrow.

In a protest letter to the UN, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration says even after the Jubbaland Independent Boundaries Electoral Commission (JIBEC) bent backwards to accommodate the demands by the “international community” by re-opening the registration process for candidates, postponing presidential elections to August 22, the special representative of the secretary general and Head of UNSOM is still making demands and imposing conditions for the presidential elections to take place.

Scuttle polls

It has warned that any attempt to scuttle or delay the presidential elections will only plunge the state into anarchy dealing a blow to the  process of stabilising  Somalia as well as intensifying the fight against al Shabaab.

“The government of Kenya reiterates its call to the UN, and the international community at large, to work with the federal government of Somalia in supporting JIBEC to complete the electoral process within the timelines it has set for itself,” read the letter by  Foreign Affairs ministry. 

Like every election including advanced democracies, Kenya says the elections of Jubbaland cannot be expected to be perfect.

However, the JIBEC has, in the face of taunting challenges, done its best to ensure that elections are as fair, inclusive, transparent and credible as humanly possible, particularly under the obtaining unique circumstances.

Significantly, it says stakeholders in Jubbaland supported by 27 federal MPs, the state of Puntland, three major political parties of former President Sheikh Sharif and Hassan Sheikh Mohammed have publicly expressed support for the ongoing electoral process in Jubbaland.

Critical stage

“The long electoral process is now at very last and most critical stage being the presidential elections,” the letter further reads.

Kenya has also expressed reservation the exception with the selective manner in which the UN Special representative of the Secretary General has consulted, if at all, over the elections.

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