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UK, US ambassadors in Somalia urge continuation of elections despite opposition calls for boycott

Storyline:National News

GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Elections should go ahead and grievances addressed through existing dispute resolution mechanisms, the US and the UK have said pouring cold water on calls by the opposition to stop and boycott the process.

Speaking during an exclusive interview with Goobjoog News, UK ambassador to Somalia Kate Foster and US chargé d’affaires Colleen Crenwelge said Somali stakeholders had out in place mechanisms to address emerging electoral and that they should be utilised.

“At this stage, we would urge the process to continue and all key stakeholders to respect those consensus-based mutually agreed frameworks that are in play,” ambassador Foster said.

She however urged for response and action to concerns raised by stakeholders including the opposition that have dismissed the ongoing Lower House elections as ‘naked robbery.’ She also called for transparency in the selection of delegates and the election of MPs.

On her part, Crenwelge also echoed similar sentiments and urged Prime Minister Mohamed Roble and outgoing President Mohamed Farmaajo among other stakeholders to abide by previously set agreements.

“There are agreements in place and we will continue all stakeholders; the President, the Prime Minister and Federal Member States to abide by those agreements and stand by their commitments and obligations,” Crewnwelge said.

‘It is our role to support agreements that are in place,’ said, adding that ‘Where there are concerns we do think they should be raised through established mechanisms.’

The remarks come in the wake of threats by the opposition to step out of the ongoing elections following what they said was mass irregularities, the inability of the electoral bodies at state and federal levels to effectively and independently run the elections and influence from Villa Somalia and Federal Member State presidents.