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Somali presidential candidates demand resignation of spy chief over ‘elections meddling’


Thursday November 26, 2020

MOGADISHU (HOL) -  Over a dozen candidates in Somalia have demanded the resignation of the country’s intelligence head Fahad Yasin, accusing him of using his position to facilitate the re-election campaign of outgoing president Mohamed Farmaajo.

Among the 14 candidates pushing for the spy chief’s resignation are former presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

Yasin, a former Al-Jazeera Network journalist, served as chief of staff at Villa Somalia and has been credited for engineering the successful election campaign of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.

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“Mr Fahad Yassin Haji Dahir should resign as the head of NISA, as he is the head of the re-election campaign of outgoing presidential candidate Mr Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, to ensure the impartiality of NISA,” the leaders said in a communique released Thursday.

The leaders who engaged with civil society groups, media and clerics and lawmakers have been meeting in the capital Mogadishu for five days.
They accused Yasin of packing the Federal Indirect Elections Team with NISA intelligence officials.

The presidential hopefuls also demand that the FIET and the regional election committee’s disband. They singled out Puntland and Jubbaland specifically as violators of impartiality in the election of the poll teams.

The demands by the 14 candidates who have threatened a parallel process should Farmaajo not accede, is likely to escalate further an already fragile political situation the Horn of Africa nation.

The election teams were at this point supposed to be concluding the process for the start of the election of MPs by delegates chosen by respective sub-clans.

The leaders also demanded that Farmaajo withdraws the national army in the Gedo region to tone down tensions with Jubbaland ahead of the polls.

Other demands include the election of Somaliland lawmakers in Afgooye and not Mogadishu and that of the Benadiri community at the police academy in Mogadishu.



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