Somalia’s leaders urged to address concerns raised over election transparency

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Members of the international community have lauded the progress made in Somalia so far in terms of preparations, despite a few hiccups that may have delayed the exercise in some parts of the country.

On May 27, various stakeholders signed an agreement that paved way for elections in the country. Since then, a number of stakes have filled senatorial slots following voting in their respective regional assemblies.

A statement issued by various members of the international community lauded the efforts made so far in fast-tracking the exercise particularly in Puntland, Southwest, Jubaland, and the state of Galmadug.

“We note the finalization of the Upper House elections in Puntland and South West State and the start of the process in Jubaland and Galmudug. We also note concerns that have been raised regarding the Upper House process and call on the NCC to address these issues in support of a transparent, timely, inclusive, and credible process for the House of the People elections,” reads the statement.

“Recalling that 24 percent of the Upper House seats have so far been filled by women, we call for the redoubling of efforts to achieve at least the 30 percent quota of seats in both Houses of Parliament going to women.”

The country is now set to kickstart Lower House polls, which have already raised differences between stakeholders. Recently, a meeting was convened between the FMS leaders and members of the opposition.

A section of the opposition leaders opposed the involvement of the FMS leaders in Lower House elections. The international community members now want enhanced security ahead of the polls, which will be decided by 101 delegates from each constituency.

“We welcome the establishment of the National Electoral Security Committee and call for the resumption of meetings of the committee to ensure security arrangements are in place in all polling locations ahead of the Lower House elections and that consideration is given to women delegates, candidates, and committee members security,” the statement further reads.

“The partners share with the NCC and other stakeholders the belief that the integrity of the electoral process is critical for the stability of Somalia, and we, therefore, encourage the NCC to take the necessary steps to ensure the credible, transparent, and timely completion of the electoral process.”

After the conclusion of the Lower House elections, the bicameral legislature will then vote to elect the president of the country. Outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo is keen to defend his seat in the upcoming elections.

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