The US government announced today that it will go after Somali-Americans who are threatening the credibility of the electoral process in Somalia in a tweet sent by the US Mission in Somalia.
The statement warned perpetrators that “grave instances of corruption by US citizens overseas are punishable under US law”.
The US Mission in Somalia tweeted that “US committed to a credible electoral process in #Somalia; grave instances of corruption by US citizens overseas are punishable under US law”
In a display of unity, the British Ambassador to Somalia Harriett Mathews replied to the tweet saying that the UK Bribery Act applies to British Nationals partaking in the electoral process overseas.
The language of the tweet and the solidarity between the two nations in their unilateral condemnation of electoral abuse bears striking resemblance to a joint statement released by the US, UK, EU, IGAD, UN, and other western nations just a day prior.
In the statement, the signatory parties expressed “grave concern” over a number several electoral irregularities, delays, and discrepancies as well as closed-door decisions made by the countries leadership. They have asked the NLF to address these issues head on.
The main issue of contention was the NLFs decision to only re-run voting for 5 of the 24 parliamentary seats that the electoral body disqualified for corruption, intimidation and violence and other forms of electoral malpractice.
The statement said the NLF refusal to re-run all the seats in question tacitly amounts to “a blanket amnesty for some of the most blatant irregularities witnessed during this electoral process. It also contravenes the Federal Government’s solemn commitment to respect the rule of law.”
The statement came as Somalia inaugurated its tenth parliament with 238 new members of parliament being sworn into office.