Wednesday September 8, 2021
FILE - Electoral officials count the votes during the electoral process to choose members of the lower house of the federal parliament in Baidoa, Somalia on November 16, 2016.
The African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has started providing electoral assistance to help Somalia conduct credible elections in 2021.
The AU said the electoral assistance comprises financial, operational and technical support and is being provided in response to a government request.
"The assistance will contribute to successful organization of elections which constitute a solid foundation for ongoing efforts towards democratization, peace and political stability in the country," AMISOM said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Monday evening.
AMISOM said three senior African electoral experts were deployed to Somalia on Sept. 2 to provide continuous technical and advisory support to the Federal Electoral Implementation Team.
AMISOM is mandated to provide electoral assistance to election management bodies based on requests from the member states.
The assistance from the pan African body comes as Somalia prepares to hold elections for the Upper and Lower Houses of the People as well as the President to be held later this year.
The country's Federal Electoral Commission (FET) on Sept. 4 released a revised election timetable, saying the ongoing Upper House elections will be concluded on Sept. 18.
FET said parliamentary or Lower House elections will begin on Oct. 1 and end on Nov. 20, thus delaying the previously scheduled Oct. 10 presidential election.
The elections will be a defining moment for the country's ability to govern itself and the transition calendar as 2022 will also see the transfer of security responsibility to Somali National Security Forces upon the exit of the African Union (AU) troops.