Somalia’s PM Confers with foreign diplomats to brief them on election integrity

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Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble met with foreign diplomats at his office to discuss issues, including the completion, integrity and security of ongoing elections, his office said on Tuesday.

The Premier said he is determined to conclude elections before the February 25 deadline as agreed with regional leaders in a meeting held last month and to ensure that the rights of anyone willing to participate in the process are not violated.

It comes as the polls have been marred by allegations of rigging and manipulation, with dozens of people, including prominent officials blocked from running for parliament. Some of those barred from the race were erstwhile allies of President Farmajo. On Tuesday, two female relatives of the President said he had rigged an election in favor of a closer next of kin, claiming that they had been tortured at his behest and received death threats.

In a statement, Roble said meddling by armed forces in the elections to rig the process for vetted candidates is unacceptable and urged government troops to stay out of politics. He also pledged to ensure that the women’s 30% quota is preserved.

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