Two electoral officials from Somalia’s National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) observed the elections in Ghana to draw useful lessons to integrate in preparation towards their targeted 2020 one person, one vote elections.
As part of the African Union (AU) Election Observation Mission in the just ended elections in Ghana, the Deputy Chairman of NIEC, Sayid Ali Sheikh Mohamed and Commissioner Said Hashi Warsame said they learned best practices of holding and managing a general election.
“We hope to hold a one-man-one-vote in this country, one day. The road is long but it is not early to start preparations. We have learnt a lot,” the NIEC Deputy Chairman said on arrival in Mogadishu after serving in Greater Accra and Ashanti regions of Ghana.
He added that they observed election preparation and the equipment and materials used at polling stations, The AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) reported on its website.
Chairperson of Somalia’s electoral commission, Ms. Halima Ismail Ibrahim was hopeful that the country plagued by extremist attacks will regain stability.
“There was a period when Somalia was very active and powerful, engaging and having cordial relations with other African countries. We have been out of that picture for a long time and having this opportunity will win us acceptance,” she said.AMISOM Senior Political Officer, Haji Ssebirumbi Kisinziggo explained that the mission was part of a support by the African Union to enable the NIEC learn from other African countries.
“We welcome them back and hope that what they have picked from Ghana, which is a star in terms of democracy, will be integrated and used in the programmes, policies and preparations for one-person- one-vote towards 2020,” he added.
At the moment, conditions for a one-person, one-vote ballot are not yet in place, therefore 275 electoral colleges elect the 275 members of the Lower House of parliament and the regional parliaments also elect the 54 members of the Upper House. The two houses elect the president.
The country is expected to have a universal suffrage in 2020 administered by Somalia’s National Independent Electoral Commission established in July 2015.