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FGS, FMS conspiring to rig poll, HIPS says, calls for disbandment of poll committees

Storyline:National News

GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU:   The newly constituted electoral committees at the federal and state level should be disbanded and new ones appointed locking out public servants and cronies, the Mogadishu based think-tank HIPS has said lashing out at the FGS and FMS leaders of conspiring to steal the elections.

In a stinging criticism against the Federal Government and the Federal Member State leaders, Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS) has warned the current composition of the new committee was a recipe for election malpractices and an affront to democracy.

“The current FEIT, SEITs and dispute resolution committee comprising loyalists and staff of FGS and FMS leaders should be disbanded and replaced with credible committees made up of respected individuals,” a brief released Friday by HIPS said.

HIPS argues that the Federal Elections Indirect Elections (FEIT) and its counterpart at the state level (SEIT) are packed with public servants, security personnel, and cronies allied to either President Mohamed Farmaajo or the FMS presidents.

Noting that both the FGS and FMS leaders had gone counter to the ‘Mogadishu Model’ they agreed to in September which called for the appointment of persons not beholden to vested interests, the report says to the contrary, both committees are now appendages of the FGS and FMS administrations.

“Besides the composition of the FEIT, the makeup of the State-Level Electoral Implementation Teams (SEITs), the bodies mandated to manage the process at the state level, is equally troubling,” the brief reads in part/

“Almost all states have appointed individuals who have been handpicked by the FMS presidents in an overt attempt to weaponize the SEITs and control the outcome.”


HIPS also recommends that public servants and security personnel should not be allowed to join electoral bodies. Further, HIPS advises an integrity commission like the one in 2016 be formed to oversee and protect the integrity of the elections.

FMS presidents ‘should refrain from arbitrarily blocking eligible citizens from running for the Upper House,’ HIPS said noting the regional presidents had abused the power of the Senate to serve personal interests instead of the state governments.

The report comes amid heightened debate in the country over the composition of the FEIT and SEITs. President Farmaajo has been accused of filling the FEIT with senior administration officials and members of the intelligence agency NISA.

Twelve presidential candidates and political formations among them Forum for National  Parties last week separately protested what they termed as a move by the president to manipulate the elections through the FEIT composition.