SRSG Michael Keating discusses electoral process preparations in South West State
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating has welcomed the progress made by the Interim South West State Administration (ISWA) in preparing for the electoral process, during a visit to Baidoa.
Mr Keating was accompanied by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, the Swedish Ambassador to Somalia, Mikael Lindvall and representatives of Ethiopia and the European Union.
“The preparations seem to be going very well. We have been told that of the 69 seats that South West has, which is the biggest number of seats that any state has, the delegates have been chosen for two-thirds of those seats already. There is still time to choose the remaining third,” the SRSG said.
According to the new timetable released by the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT), a presidential election will take place in the two houses of the federal parliament on 30 November 2016. Voting for seats in the upper house will take place on 10 October while voting for seats in the lower house will be held from October 23 to November 10.
The delegation held discussions with senior ISWA officials led by President Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan as well as members of the State Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (SIEIT).
Speaking during a press briefing, ISWA President Adan announced that the list of candidates for the Upper House would be submitted in the next few days.
“We have informed the visiting AMISOM and UN delegation on how far we have gone in the preparation for the electoral process. The deadline for the submission of the list of candidates for the upper house was today. The list is ready and will be announced in the next few days,” the ISWA President noted.
He said the electoral process preparations for the lower house were also on course, noting that the majority of the electoral college delegates, who will select the members of the lower house of parliament, have been identified.
Mr Keating expressed optimism that the 30 percent quota of parliamentary seats reserved for women will be met.
The SRSG, however, noted that there will be logistical and security challenges in the implementation of the electoral process, adding that both the UN and the international community will support ISWA officials in addressing them .
“Security is one of them and the logistics of getting candidates for the lower house to Baidoa is another one, but AMISOM and local security forces are working hard on the security issue,” Keating said.