Police Chief pledges former officers votes for President Mohamud

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The head of the Somali police force, General Mohamed Hassan Hamud, is being asked some tough questions after the controversial remarks he made in a speech he gave on Wednesday.

During an address given to commemorate the 73rd year of the Somali Police Force, General Hamud said he is supporting President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in his bid for re-election.

The Somali force is an independent institution that should not be influenced by Somali political influence. Especially at this time when Somalia is expected to hold presidential elections. Furthermore, he said that three police officers who have been elected as Members of Parliament can also count on his vote.

“The new parliament will have three police officers, Abdi Hassan Awale Qaybdid, whom you can count on his vote. In addition to that (vote), Sharif Sheikhuna Maye who is seated behind you and also a newly elected MP. It is an honour to announce that one of the  19 officers you have promoted is also a member of the parliament, his name is Mohamed Ibrahim Abdi Diyeshi and you can on  count on him too.”

As Gen. Hamud spoke, the president was seen to be nodding in agreement, body language that would suggest that he welcomed the endorsement.

The speech has alarmed many who criticized that the role of the police in Somalia is to remain partisan in their sworn duties to protect civilians and maintain order.

This is the latest in a wave of incidents that have marred the parliamentary elections in Somalia and have called into question the overall credibility of the electoral process. There have been widespread reports of vote-buying, voter intimidation, and use of state resources. Most of the accusations have been levelled at current government leaders.

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