November 12, 2019
MOGADISHU – Contenders in the South West elections last December spent between $5000 and $8000 for each of the 82 MPs to secure a win in the hotly contested polls, a UN report has said.
According to the just released UN Panel of Experts report, thousands of dollars changed hands before and after the elections that also saw the killing of up to 15 people ahead of the December 2018.
“The Panel received multiple reports indicating that 82 South-West State Members of Parliament were flown to Mogadishu in early November 2018 to receive an initial payment of approximately $5,000 each, in exchange for their support for particular presidential candidates,” the report notes.
Violence erupted ahead of the elections when former Al-Shabaab number two Mukhtar Robow was arrested by Ethiopian forces and flown to Mogadishu where is still under house arrest.
After the polls, the report says, the MPs received between $2000 and $3000. Abdiaziz Mohamed Laftagareen, the federal government’s preferred candidate was elected president.
Cases of bribes were not only restricted to South West. In Puntland, candidates splashed between $30,000 and $70,000 to influence the elections held in January this year and in once instance an MP was offered $15,000 to step down for another candidate, the report says.