By Uganda Online Correspondent
The US has increased the number of Somali officials under visa restrictions for undermining the country’s democratic process.
This comes after Somalia again missed a 15 March deadline for completing parliamentary elections that have been delayed for more than a year.
The names of the officials have not been released yet.
The election deadline has now been extended to the end of the month to allow the remaining seats in the lower house to be filled.
The US embassy in Somalia lauded the states of South West and Galmudug for concluding their parliamentary elections before the deadline and expressed disappointment over the delay by other states.
The US says it will use visa restrictions and other tools to promote accountability and support the conclusion of the electoral process.
The statement also noted that there were credible reports of irregularities, harassment, and intimidation of journalists and opposition members.
Somalia has not held a one-person-one-vote election for more than 50 years.
Under the current system, MPs are chosen by delegates appointed by clan elders and members of civil society who are selected by regional state officials.
The MPs will then vote for a new president.
The current president’s term ended last year but was extended amid election delay partly blamed on his rivalry with the prime minister.