News / Africa

    As Somali Election Nears, Candidates Accused of Corruption

    NAIROBI — As the process for ending Somalia's political transition gathers momentum, some presidential candidates have been accused of both interfering with the process of electing new parliamentarians and vote-buying ahead of the presidential election, which is due to take place on August 20.

    It is common to hear one of the dozens of presidential candidates say "I want to run for president."

    In response, many Somali politicians and the public ask, "Does he have money to buy votes?"

    Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed, a presidential candidate, says questioning how deep is the pocket of a candidate is like saying only corrupt leaders who have stolen from state coffers are eligible to run.

    “That’s the most cynical question, because the issue of running Somalia is not about money," he said. "That's a wrong question.  The issue is do you have vision and plan how you are going to build Somalia?”

    The transition process calls for clan elders to choose members of a new parliament.  Those new lawmakers will then elect the new president.

    Mohamed Ali Hashi, a former political advisor in Somalia, says clan elders are using their power in the process to advance their communities' interests -- something the candidates are well aware of. “Even clans have their own interests.  They do negotiate with candidates but since candidates are very many and everybody is trying to sell his own candidacy campaign, the clans can also be confused because everybody is promising whatever he was asked,” he added.

    According to Hashi, since every candidate is promising the same thing, financial offers are often the deciding factor. “There are also financial interests and as you know these Somali people, with the difficulties they have, money is one of the items which can influence the vote," he stated. "So the financial influence is also there very strongly.”

    Hashi says candidates call certain clan representatives who will be voting, and give them the money they request which clan members divide among themselves.

    Earlier this month, the U.N. special representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, warned of vote-buying and corruption taking place in the process to name new lawmakers.

    He said parliamentary seats should not be commodities for sale or items for auction at a time when the international community is trying to restore stability to Somalia.

    A senior U.S. State Department official warned the United States will take action against anyone who seeks to undermine the process, including members of Somalia's government.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: ahmed alex from: cairo
    August 13, 2012 11:10 PM
    hey we (somalis) know eachother; there is no candidate who want to work for that country honestly , and we know who will win the election -the one with the international comunity with and that is all god save my country amen
    In Response

    by: eritreangirl
    August 15, 2012 8:07 PM
    ahmed alex we eritreans belive the problem of somalias will be solved only by somaili people . and we wish your unity and somalia only for somailas then the election will be free election!

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora