International partners concerned about continuing delays in elections in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia – A number of Somalia’s international partners have raised concerns over the postponement of lower house elections, which were due to start in September based on the revised timetable released in May this year.
Initially, the country was due to go to the polls in December 2020 but the exercise was delayed due to feuds between the executive and the opposition. Federal Member States [FMS] had also raised a series of concerns.
On Monday, partners called on everyone involved to speed up the process, complete Somalia’s longest electoral calendar, and possibly the longest electoral exercise in world history.
The partners noted that there was enough money to help conduct the polls, adding that it was necessary to conclude the lower house elections in the coming weeks. Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble visited Galmadug on Monday during the elections.
“International partners, however, remain deeply concerned about the severely delayed electoral calendar and urge Somali leaders at all levels of government to resume and expeditiously complete the electoral process for the seats of the House of the People,” said the press release. . “We note that sufficient funds are already available, including from international partners, to complete a significant part of the People’s House elections.”
At least 101 delegates in each FMS will participate in the elections which aim to choose 275 deputies. The delegates are chosen by the traditional elders, who are fundamental in the indirect polls in Somalia.
“We continue to call for timely, inclusive and credible elections that preserve the integrity of the electoral process. We also urge Somali leaders and national election implementation teams, in accordance with the agreements of September 17, 2020 and May 27, 2021, to ensure that a minimum quota of 30 percent is reserved for women parliamentarians through ‘a clear mechanism,’ noted the partners.
The delayed elections, international partners noted, would affect other priority areas as more resources will be used than initial budget estimates. They also called for the stability of the country which has struggled for three decades.
“International partners reiterate their deep concern that the longer the elections are delayed, the more attention and resources will be diverted from important national priorities, such as responding to the humanitarian consequences of drought, state building. and ensuring security, which is essential for the overall stability of Somalia and the well-being of its people. “