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Agreement between the president and regional leaders for the holding of elections in Somalia

In the absence of Parliament’s approval, the vote will finally be indirect and not by universal suffrage

The Somali president, Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo’ and three regional leaders have reached an agreement on the new electoral model that will allow the holding of elections in the country, a step considered crucial for stability and that Parliament must still endorse.

This Thursday night, at the end of the meeting held in Dhusamareb, the capital of Galmudug, between the president and the leaders of this region as well as Southwest and Hirshabelle as well as the governor of Banadir, the formation of an electorate by ‘ caucus’, each of which will be made up of 301 delegates who will elect the person who will occupy a seat in Parliament.

Finally, the election of parliamentarians – who in turn must elect the country’s president – will be indirect and not by universal suffrage as was expected to happen on this occasion, for the first time in five decades.

Somalia was supposed to hold elections by the end of this year but the Electoral Commission warned at the end of June that for the option of one citizen, one vote, to be possible, it would be necessary to wait until March at the earliest, if the option of a manual registration was chosen of voters, but if you wanted to comply with the current electoral legislation and that the vote was telematic, then you would have to wait until August.

“We have reached an electoral agreement with the leaders of the federal states and the Banadir region, which we hope will pave the way for the holding of free, fair and multi-party elections in time,” Farmajo announced at the end of the third round of negotiations. . “We extend our helping hand to those who have not yet joined us,” he added. The rulers of Jubaland and Puntland did not attend the meeting.

During the meeting it was also agreed that the election will be supervised by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and multiple parties may attend it. “The leaders agreed that the INEC, in collaboration with the state governments, will facilitate the formation of an inclusive selection committee of the elderly and civil society from among the community” that the seat will represent, they explained in their joint statement.

The four leaders also decided to establish at least four constituencies in each regional state and that elections will be held on the same day throughout the country. On the other hand, they also agreed to reserve a 30 percent quota for women.

They all said they are “committed to continuing their efforts to address concerns regarding elections in the two states (Jubaland and Puntland) that are absent from the conference and we look forward to their joining us in all the tasks that remain to be done. “, they declared.

Precisely, the UN envoy for Somalia, James Swan, had warned hours before the agreement was known of the importance of finding a solution to the electoral problem, given the impossibility of holding the elections before the end of the year and through direct universal suffrage.

Likewise, in an intervention before the UN Security Council, he acknowledged his concern about the increase in attacks by the terrorist group Al Shabaab, linked to Al Qaeda, and warned that some 5 million Somalis, a third of the population, need help humanitarian.

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