Recruitment process for NIEC & BFC Commissioners kicks off

24 Mar 2015

Recruitment process for NIEC & BFC Commissioners kicks off

Mogadishu - As required by the Provisional Federal Constitution of Somalia and in line with the recently passed laws on the National Independent Electoral Commission and the Boundaries and Federation Commission, Somalia is now urging qualified citizens to apply for the 18 vacant seats of the National Independent Election Commission (NIEC) and the Boundaries and Federal Commission (BFC); the deadline for applications to the two Commissions has now been extended to 30th March 2015.

The Minister of State from Interior and Federalism, H.E. Abdirashid Hidig, said the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that the selection process is free, fair and transparent, with a strict process involving approvals by several committees, the Federal Parliament and finally the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

The public response to the exercise has been generally positive and by Saturday, over 150 people had sent in their application letters from in and out of Somalia.
Yahya Omar Hersi, the Ministry’s focal point for applications and Director of the Ministry of Interior and Federalism’s Department of Political Parties and Census, said the Ministry has put in measures in place to receive the applications and urged those who interested to do so before the new deadline of 30 March 2015.

“The requirements are that he/she has to be a Somali national, the age limits for the two commissions are different, the Election commission age limit is 30 years and the Boundaries Commission age limit is not less than 40 years. He/she must not have committed any crime or found guilty by a court of law, he/she must have more than 5 years’ experience,” Yahye said.

Dr. Abdi Mohamed Ulusow, one of the applicants for National Independent Electoral Commissioner committee membership

“I today came to this office in order to apply for the position of the National Independent Electoral Commission committee which I hope to be a member. This process has been going on and the Ministry has advertised and it was never a secret every Somali person knows that there is need to form the national Independent Electoral Commission and the Boundaries and Federal Commission. I think the deadline is soon and as such I was informed about the position in the Ministry as well as from outside because it is not something secretive because everyone knows about it which they were informed about and know of it,” he said.

Minister Hidig reiterated the importance of the process assuring the public that the process will be free and fair.

“This is a very important process and which is very important to the Somali government, the people of Somalia and the international community and we want it to start in a transparent manner in which everyone will be happy with how the commission is formed and as such we expect the concerned agencies to help us in this process in order to avoid any suspicion or its credibility is questioned and this can only be caused by lack of funding or different working together for the common good. We therefore appeal again that we need your participation and we welcome the views and suggestions of the Somali people or whoever is interested in this matter. As the Ministry we are committed to fulfil all requirements for elections to happen in 2016,” Minister Abdirashid said.

“The deadline for the application was earlier set for 24 March 2015 but due to unavoidable technical reasons as well as lack of funds which we will explain we decided to extend the deadline for the receiving the application to the 30th March 2015. The reasons that have forced us to extend this deadline is purely technical and mostly on communication since the email addresses and the websites in which people would have sent their application were not ready. This problem was mainly caused by lack of funds,” the Minister added.

Young Somalis are also throwing their hats in the ring; Abdisamad Aydarus Abdullahi, who hails from Borama town in the northwest, was excited to take part in this historic moment in his country.

“I am from Awdal, Borama town. I came today to the Ministry of Interior of the Somalia Federal Government to apply for a position in the National Independent Electoral Commission committee 2016. I am so happy today and I was welcomed and received well. I hope to use my past experience having worked in the last elections in Somaliland administration,” Abdisamad said.

Minister Hidig reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to a free and fair selection process, and urged all qualified candidates to apply.

“I wish to urge the Somali people to take part in this process, especially anyone who wishes to share his views and experiences and who will put his or her efforts to help the country conduct election in 2016 God willing. It is important for people to freely take part in this process. In the end, the Commissions will each require only 9 persons each, but we want the selection to go through a free and fair process in which whoever is picked knows why he has been selected and whoever misses out knows why he was left out,” he said.