Somalia: Robow struck out of SW Presidential candidacy, Federal Minister resigns in protest

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The electoral body of the Somalia Federal State of Southwest, Baidoa announced Sunday that Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali was struck out of the list of candidates running for the State’s presidential office.

The commissioners, reports said, stated that Mr. Robow was no longer a viable candidate eligible for the highest post in the state since he is under arrest at time candidates are presenting their manifestos ahead of the ‘election’ D-Day.

Mr. Robow, who has been presented the certificate of candidacy twice since he made his intention to run for office last month public, was arrested on Thursday following a number of other unsuccessful attempts the Federal Government at Villa Somalia made to discourage him from running. Robow had, also, paid US$20000  which was one of the preconditions for eligibility as a candidate.

Agitated by his arrest and flight to Mogadishu, Baidoa erupted in violent demonstrations which claimed more than a dozen lives including a federal MP. National and international calls on Villa Somalia to end the punitive actions in Baidoa followed. The Federal Parliament’s own National Salvation Caucus, in a letter dated 13 December, even accused covert complicity between the AU Ambassador, Francesco Madeira and President Farmajo on letting AMISOM troops go on the rampage to quell the protests at any cost.

Even before Robow’s arrest, members of the federal parliament and the council of ministers hailing from the Southwest State warned Villa Somalia not to meddle in regional affairs, and, specifically, not to block any candidate’s bid for office. The incumbent House Speaker of the Federal Parliament, Mursal Sheikh, and predecessors House leaders, Jawari and Adan Madobe, along with a great number were among the last to urge the government to stop its heavy-handed interference to install a puppet ‘president’ of its choice.

Mursal, since then, moved from Somalia to a heavily guarded hotel fearing for his life.

President Farmajo, Obviously,  ignored the calls altogether arresting Robow for ‘bringing Islamist militants and weapons back to Baidoa’.

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Minister Geesey is seen here with Prime Minister Khayre

Today, the Federal Minister for Public Works, Abdifattah Ibrahim Geesey, tendered his resignation to the Prime Minister’s office, stating that he could no longer stay with a government using muscle to force its preferences on the Southwest state. Geesey said as Villa Somalia was so intent on steering the course of elections and its outcome in favor of whom it wanted, and where it wanted it to be, he no longer wished to be part of that government.

Geesey’s resignation is expected to be the first of many more from the Southwest State.

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