The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has lauded the efforts of Somalia in its continued preparation for legislative and presidential elections later this year.
The UN chief in a statement on Tuesday said, “This decision, which sets out the process to choose a new federal Parliament between 24 September and 10 October and President by 30 October, has today been endorsed by Somalia’s National Leadership Forum (NLC),” adding that he trusted that the timetable would be adhered to by all parties involved in the process.
Ki-moon further noted that: “the 2016 electoral process is an important milestone in Somalia’s journey towards democracy.” He also welcomed the NLC’s commitment to ensure transition towards a multi-party system by 2018, ahead of elections in 2020.
The 2016 electoral process is an important milestone in Somalia's journey towards democracy.
While applauding the decision to reserve a third of parliamentary seats for female candidates, Ki-moon also emphasized the need for the upcoming polls to be conducted in a “transparent, credible and inclusive manner, and in a climate of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Last Sunday, Omar Mohamed Abdulle, chairman of Somalia’s electoral commission announced that the election of 275-member Lower House will be from September 24 to October 10 while the election of Upper House should be completed by September 25.
More than 14,000 delegates representing Somalia clans will cast their votes for members of the Lower House, while the regional states will select the members of the Upper House.
The incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud is among dozens of candidates vying for the post of president, who will be elected by new lawmakers.
The term of the president expires on September 10, but according to a source, the speaker of parliament has approved a new resolution agreed by the national leaders forum to extend the term for the president until election day in October.