At the Somalia Partnership Forum on 2 October, the Federal Government committed to enact the Electoral law and the amended Political Parties Law by December 2019. The Government further pledged to include at least 30 per cent minimum quota for the representation of women in parliament in line with commitments made before the previous electoral cycle; to establish security arrangements to allow as wide a participation of the Somali voting population as possible; and to conclude the electoral processes on the basis of credible, peaceful, “one person, one vote” free and fair elections by the end of 2020/early 2021. These undertakings are based on long-standing pledges by a wide range of Somali leaders to hold a direct, ‘one person, one vote’ elections in 2020/21. The partners urge the fulfilment of these commitments.
In recent days, international partners have held consultations with the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), the Speaker of the House of the People and the Speaker of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, the Somali Federal Police Commissioner in his capacity as Chairman of the Electoral Security Task Force and Prime Minister Hassan Khaire. The partners took stock of progress and commended these Somali authorities for the election-related tasks accomplished to date.
In line with the commitments made by the Federal Government and other Somali stakeholders, the partners urge that the future election model should:
- Respect the Constitution;
- Ensure that the federal elections are held on time in late 2020/early 2021, without extension of the terms of the Executive or Parliament;
- Ensure fair representation of all Somali communities;
- Afford the Somali people the opportunity to directly elect their representatives through “one person, one vote”;
- Include a role for political parties in the elections;
- Guarantee a minimum of 30 per cent representation for women in the Federal Parliament;
- Enable the broadest possible participation including of internally displaced persons;
- Enjoy wide support among all Somali stakeholders;
- Be capable of being implemented effectively and securely and of attracting sufficient funding through application of these principles;
- Result in peaceful election of leaders who have broad legitimacy, and
- Respect the mandate of the National Independent Electoral Commission.
The partners call on the House of the People and the Upper House of the Federal Parliament to complete the adoption of the Electoral Bill and the revised Political Parties Law by the end of 2019. They also call on all stakeholders and institutions in Somalia to set aside their differences and engage in constructive dialogue.
Somalia’s international partners remain dedicated to support the advancement of Somalia’s commitment to good governance. The partners will continue to provide support to the electoral process and stand ready to offer technical expertise to the relevant Somali authorities as they devise a credible and implementable electoral model.
* African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Canada, Denmark, Ethiopia, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Italy, Kenya, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United Nations and United States.