SRSG Keating observes voting in Baidoa, terms electoral process orderly and well organized
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia Michael Keating today visited the electoral center in Baidoa, the administrative capital of South West state, and observed voting for a seat in the House of the People.
Mr. Keating and his delegation, which included the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) Lydia Wanyoto, watched as Electoral College delegates cast ballots for three women candidates.
“It seemed to be very well organized, calm,” said SRSG Keating afterwards. “It was a very tight race.”
The winning candidate, 25-year-old Hani Mohamed Adan, won the seat with 26 votes out of the 51 ballots case.
“I’m hoping this is a win for all Somali youths since I am a youth,” said Ms. Adan. “It seems South West is on track to achieving the 30 per cent quota for women.”
SRSG Keating expressed satisfaction with the progress of the electoral process so far.
“What is very moving is to see Somalis voting. It may not be a universal franchise election, but it is still a powerful signal of Somalia’s determination and ability to organize a process and, I hope, accept the results,” he said.
“This is very good news not only for South West, but also for Somalia in terms of organizing and implementing an electoral model.”
Mr. Keating and his delegation also met with the Interim Southwest Administration (ISWA) President Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan and clan elders. The SRSG’s discussions with President Sharif Hassan focused on the timelines and logistical challenges facing the electoral process.
“We discussed a lot on elections and logistical plans for (bringing) delegates from Lower Shabelle,” ISWA President Sharif Hassan said. He predicted that the electoral exercise in the South West state would conclude in 10 days.
Two other seats were decided in House of the People elections held in Baidoa today. The former Somali ambassador to Turkey Mohamed Mursal Sheikh Abdirahman and Idris Abdi Takar emerged victorious from the balloting for those seats.
Elections were also held in Galmudug state, where three seats were being contested. Two women and one man won in the voting, bringing the number of women so far elected to seats in the House of the People for Galmudug state to three.