5/22/2024
Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
advertisements
Somalia's Parliament approves parts of election overhaul plan


Sunday March 31, 2024

MOGADISHU — Somalia's parliament on Saturday unanimously approved proposals to overhaul the country's electoral system to reintroduce universal suffrage, a plan that has been criticized by some leading politicians.

Somalia's parliament on Saturday unanimously approved proposals to overhaul the country's electoral system to reintroduce universal suffrage, a plan that has been criticized by some leading politicians.

advertisements
Last March, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud pledged to end the complex clan-based indirect voting system in place for more than half a century in the troubled Horn of Africa nation.

The central government and four federal states recently announced an agreement that a one-person one-vote system would be introduced in local elections set for June 2024, but the proposals still had to be approved by parliament.

On Saturday, lawmakers approved four of the 15 constitutional chapters that are due to be amended as part of the overhaul.

"The legislators from both houses unanimously endorsed the amended chapters of the constitution,” said Sheik Adan Mohamed Nur, the president of the lower chamber of parliament.

The remaining 11 chapters are due to be voted on later, Mahad Wasuge, the head of the Somali Public Agenda think tank, told AFP.

"Once the 11 remaining chapters are amended by the parliament, the constitution will be voted for by the public," he said.

When the central government announced the election overhaul plan last year, some eight prominent politicians, including a former president and four former prime ministers, objected because, among others, not all of the country's federal member states had participated in the talks.

Ahead of Saturday's vote former president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo echoed the criticism.

"This Constitution, which is being implemented by an illegal process and that will not be accepted by society, will never be recognized as a legal Constitution" because it does not "represent the current political situation in the country and the pillars that were at the heart of Somali political reconciliation and power sharing," he said in a statement on Friday.

Somalia is struggling to emerge from decades of conflict and chaos while battling natural disasters and a bloody insurgency by al-Shabab jihadists.

The country has not had nationwide one-person, one-vote elections since 1969, when the dictator Siad Barre seized power.

Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Puntland staged its first direct polls since 1969 during local council elections in May 2024, but then went back to a complex clan-based ballot during parliamentary elections in January.



 





Click here