MOGADISHU Somalia (AMISOM)
– Preparations for the 2016 electoral
process are picking up as Somalia prepares to choose parliamentary
representatives, in an exercise that will culminate in a
presidential poll in late October.
Candidates for seats in
the lower house of the country’s next federal parliament have
already hit the ground running, drumming up support among clan
elders, religious leaders and other influential members of their
A visit to some of the country’s major cities shows that
electoral process preparations are now in full swing.
In Baidoa, candidates campaigning for various parliamentary seats
have erected posters in an effort to win the backing of clan elders
and electoral college delegates.
Subaida Haji Muktar, a female candidate for parliament, is
readying herself for the process.
A newcomer to politics, Ms Muktar says education, job creation
and women’s health will be her key priorities if elected.
Another female candidate named Samra Ibrahim Omar cited the 30
per cent quota for women in both houses of the next federal
parliament as one of her motivations to join politics, and she urged
women to take up the leadership challenge.
According to Siid Ali Abukar, the Deputy Head of Registration of
the State Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (SIEIT), for the
Interim Southwest Administration (ISWA), the registration of
electoral college delegates is proceeding smoothly.
"We have already provided orientation to traditional elders on
criteria for selecting the delegates. We have also received lists of
many delegates who will elect the members of parliament from their
respective clans. The team is continuously reviewing delegates
submitted to ensure the criteria agreed upon have been met", Mr
The electoral process regulations stipulate that 275 electoral
colleges consisting of 51 delegates each will choose members of the
lower house of parliament. Sixteen of the 51 delegates are supposed
to be women, 10 will be youths and the remaining 25 will be drawn
from the wider community, including members of civil society.
State assemblies will elect most of the 54 members of the upper
house of parliament.
Suldan Warsame Suldan Alio Ibrow, one of the 135 traditional
elders charged with selecting electoral college delegates, said the
main thrust has focused on ensuring that the 30 per cent quota for
women’s representation in parliament is achieved.
"The traditional elders welcomed the international community, the
Federal Government and the National Leadership Forum’s push for the
30 per cent quota for women.
"As a result, of every three seats allocated to each clan, one
will automatically be contested by women only," explained Mr. Ibrow.
Mr Abukar said venues have been identified where the electoral
colleges will meet and adequate security put in place.
"Election venues and security plans have all been firmed up.
"ISWA authorities are very much focused to ensure elections are
"Despite time constraints, everything is going well and on track.
"We are positive that we will have a successful process," he
In Mogadishu, the head of the federal body charged with oversight
of the electoral process has made assurances that the process will
stay on course, despite a few still unresolved issues.
"The electoral process is still on schedule.
"The issue of establishing an electoral dispute resolution
committee has been resolved but there are other outstanding matters.
"For example, the deployment of AMISOM troops to Cadaado,
Somaliland’s lack of preparedness for the electoral process and
identifying an electoral center for Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle
"Those are technical issues that require political decisions, and
which are under consideration," said Omar Mohamed Abdulle, the
Chairman of the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT),
during a visit to a police academy in Mogadishu.
Sixty-nine Federal MPs will be chosen in Baidoa, while the
remaining 206 MPs will be selected in Garowe, Kismaayo, Mogadishu,
Cadaado and a yet-to-be-identified location in Hiiraan and Middle
A total of 14,025 electoral college delegates drawn from various
segments of Somali society will elect the 275 legislators for the
lower house of parliament.