Somalis face visa limitations in the United States as a result of postponed elections
Somalia–US Secretary of State Blinken says procedural irregularities and partisan use of security forces have undermined Somalia’s electoral process. The US has imposed visa restrictions on Somali officials, who are thought to have played a role in postponing parliamentary elections that were supposed to take place on Friday last week.
The immigration prohibition on some unidentified officials and their families, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, will “encourage responsibility for their obstructionist tactics.” After numerous parliamentary seats remained vacant by the self-imposed deadline of February 25, Somalia’s National Consultative Council extended the election date to March 15.
Mr Blinken said in a press statement made on Monday that “procedural issues and politicized usage of security forces have damaged an electoral process that is more than a year behind schedule.” “Journalists and members of opposition parties who support democratic institutions and transparent processes have been harassed, intimidated, arrested, and violently attacked,” he said.
Since the start of Somalia’s elections in September of last year, Washington has warned against a derailment. The US claims that the delay in completing Somalia’s elections is causing political instability, jeopardizing security achievements, and harming economic progress. All 54 members of the Senate have been elected so far, while approximately 100 of the Lower House’s 275 members have still to be voted in. As a result, the presidential election in Somalia’s complicated elections has been delayed even more.
The 275-member Lower House and the 54 senators convene a combined session to elect Somalia’s president in the indirect poll methodology. When the February 8 election deadline passed, precisely a year after President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo’s tenure expired, the US stated it will implement visa sanctions.
The continuous postponement of the presidential elections, according to Mr. Blinken, “has larger repercussions, including hurting Somalia’s economic reforms and jeopardizing prompt international debt relief.” “Under this policy and other measures at our disposal, the US government will examine additional actions to enhance accountability and assist Somalia’s democratic process.”