10/18/2021
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Somalia braces for polls amid uncertainty over stability, cohesion


Thursday August 26, 2021

Somalia’s parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled to be held by Oct. 10.


[FILE Photo: Xinhua]


After protracted discussions ending on September 17, 2020, the government and federal member states opted for an electoral model similar to the 2016 elections.

However, the number of delegates who will elect each Member of Parliament in the Lower House was increased to 101.

The delegates will be selected through collaboration with civil society, traditional elders and state governments.

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The elections will also take place in only two locations within every state, down from the previous four. Members of both levels of parliament from Somaliland will be elected in Mogadishu.

The schedule for the Upper House was on July 25, and the Lower House was between Aug. 10 and Sept. 10.

Out of the Federal Member States, only Puntland and Southwest States have completed the election of the Upper House.

At the same time, Galmudug and Jubbaland regional states are left with two and four members respectively to complete the election of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament.

The September 2020 agreement also sanctioned the 30 percent women quota representation in both houses of parliament.

The elections have brought uncertainty in Somalia’s ability to maintain stability and cohesion.

Analysts say it is a defining moment for the country’s ability to govern itself and the transition calendar as 2021 will also see the transfer of security responsibility to Somali National Security Forces upon the exit of the African Union (AU) troops.

The analysts said the conduct and results of Somalia’s 2021 elections will have a consequential ripple effect on the social, political, and economic relations of the countries in the greater Horn of African region.

Mohamed Hassan Irro, the federal election implementation committee chairperson, said the electoral process is on the right track despite the obstacles.

“The country is running toward a conducive poll process,” said Irro, adding that “the fundamental challenging aspect has been sorted out following a political settlement between the federal and state-level leadership in the country.”

Mohamed Abdulkadir, a political analyst, said all the elements needed for the process have been put into place, and the security and monitoring teams are also available.

Abdulkadir said they presume the list of the candidates will be submitted in the coming days to kick off their campaigns before the parliamentary elections.

Samatar Ali, a lecturer at Mogadishu University called for a timely parliamentary election to avoid delays in carrying out the presidential vote.

“The delay in parliamentary elections will affect the presidential vote, which could be pushed toward the end of the year,” Ali told Xinhua.



 





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