International community welcomes decisions of National Leadership Forum on 2016 electoral process
The United Nations, the African Union, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the European Union, Ethiopia, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States welcome the important progress achieved by the National Leadership Forum (NLF) this week on the modalities of the 2016 electoral process.
“The NLF held a marathon five-day meeting this week. They discussed tough issues and despite differences have agreed on many of the key parameters of the electoral process,” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating. “We welcome this leadership by the NLF members in the broader interests of political progress and stability”.
International partners particularly welcome the NLF commitment to appoint members of the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) and the four State-Level Indirect Electoral Implementation Teams (SIEITs) by 6 June, to assume their functions on 10 June. The FIEIT will be responsible for developing a detailed implementation plan and 2016 electoral timelines. It will also announce the final results of voting in the electoral colleges for the 275 members of the lower house of the country’s next Federal Parliament.
International partners also welcome the agreement reached on the geographic distribution of the seats allocated to the clans and support the appointment of a committee to further study the status and representation in the Federal Parliament of Mogadishu.
Technical preparations for the 2016 electoral process can now begin in earnest. The international community believes it is imperative for Somali political leaders to now hand over detailed planning and implementation to technical experts and advisers and reiterates its strong commitment to support implementation of the agreed modalities in a free, fair and transparent manner.
Somalia’s international partners also welcome the NLF’s reaffirmation of its previous commitment not to extend the term limits of the Federal Parliament and the Federal President beyond August and September 2016, respectively.
They noted the formation of a national committee to promote the political participation and representation of women. They urged swift agreement on a specific mechanism to ensure the fulfillment of the National Leadership Forum’s commitment to reserve 30 per cent of seats in both houses of Parliament for female candidates. “The NLF’s commitment to reserve 30 per cent of seats in both houses of Parliament for women is highly significant. More women MPs will make better politics,” said SRSG Keating.
International partners also welcome the NLF’s approval of Somalia’s National Security Policy and the agreement to form a National Security Committee envisaged in the policy.
International partners look forward to the next meeting of the National Leadership Forum on 20 June and to the timely technical preparation and implementation of the electoral process and all other agreements reached by the NLF.