Political consensus critical ahead of Somalia election: UN mission chief

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas James Swan, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, briefs the Security Council meeting on the situation in Somalia. November 21, 2019

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


With Somalia scheduled to hold “one-person, one-vote” elections next year, leaders must act now to break the “stalemate” between the central government and federal member states, the top UN official in the country told the Security Council on Thursday.

The election will mark just the third time that Somalia has had universal suffrage since independence in 1960.

UN Special Representative James Swan underscored the need to forge political consensus to realize what he described as the “ambitious agenda for 2020”.

“This will entail dialogue and compromise between the central government and Federal Member States; between the executive and legislature; between current office-holders and those now out of power; and between elite leaders and those community elders, civil society organizations, women’s and youth groups who give voice to so many Somalis”, he said.

“After more than a year without effective cooperation between the Central Government and key Federal Member States, this situation has become an obstacle to achieving important national priorities. Somalia’s leaders must act urgently to break this stalemate between the Center and the Federal Member States in the interest of the nation.”

Critical next steps

Mr. Swan,  head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), further highlighted the need for Parliament to pass the electoral code and adopt amendments to the political parties’ law before the end of this year.

“Any delay in this timeline puts the 2020 electoral calendar at risk,” he warned.

UN partner the African Union (AU) praised “commendable steps” towards reconciliation, including a meeting between Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo and two of his predecessors held in the capital, Mogadishu, on Wednesday.

Francisco Caetano José Madeira, head of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), acknowledged that while critical next steps towards the election are needed, there has been progress in reviewing the electoral bill over the past three months.

“We also witnessed the recent positive steps in the appointment of the National Electoral Security Task Force, the development of the draft concept note on the security for voter registration, and the provisionally approved list of voter registration sites,” said Mr. Caetano, who also is the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for the country.

‘Pivotal’ year ahead for Somalia and partners

Somalia last held one-person, one-vote elections in March 1969.  That October, the government was overthrown in a bloodless military coup.

Parliamentary and presidential elections took place in late 2016 and early 2017 through a system of indirect suffrage.

Halima Ismail Ibrahim, chair of the National Independent Electoral Commission, said this clan-based power-sharing model was a temporary measure to support preparations towards one-person, one-vote.

“The process was compromised by extensive vote buying.  There was a lot of corruption in that process, limited participation of women in the two houses, and complete exclusion of marginalized and minority groups,” she told ambassadors.

Despite ongoing insecurity, fragile institutions and other challenges, the 2020 election will be a “massive improvement” over the previous system, according to Osman Moallirn, Executive Director of Somalia Youth Development Network.

“A proportional representation system of this time, even if limited by the many challenges, will open up the political space and overcome many vested and corrupt interests in the status quo”, he said.

The forthcoming election is expected to cost $53 million, according to Ms. Ibrahim, the electoral commission chair.

She described 2020 as “a pivotal year” for Somalis, who have been denied the right to political participation for five decades.

She added that it also will mark a milestone for the international community, which has worked to promote democracy and good governance in her country.

“However, this is a milestone which can only be realized when the Somali leaders and the international community show a commitment to one-person, one-vote election to take place in 2020-21”, Ms. Ibrahim stated.                     

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Fit for Future platform selects EU initiatives for simplification and modernisation

Landmark terror finance resolution adopted by Security Council

The “Legend of the Sun” wishes you Happy Chinese New Year 2015 from Brussels

Peacekeeping chief honours Tanzanian troops in Zanzibar, a year on from deadly DR Congo attacks

Crop yields are up in Syria, but higher prices still cause major strain: new UN report

EuroLat: serious concern about migration and support to multilateral trade

19th EU-China Summit: A historical advance in the Chino-European rapprochement

This is how Middle Eastern retailers can keep up with e-commerce

FROM THE FIELD: What do you want to be when you grow up? One day I will…

It’s time to switch to a four-day working week, say these two Davos experts

The European Union’s Balkan Double Standard

South Korea once recycled 2% of its food waste. Now it recycles 95%

World Cancer Day: Early cervical cancer diagnosis could save lives of over 300,000 women

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

Chronic illnesses: UN stands up to stop 41 million avoidable deaths per year

Will the European Court of Justice change data privacy laws to tackle terrorism?

How leaders can use ‘agile governance’ to drive tech and win trust

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Nets’ account-to-account payment business by Mastercard, subject to conditions

Norway initiates WTO dispute complaint against US steel, aluminium duties

IMF: World cup and productivity

How to build healthy cities and communities in the post-COVID world

G20 told crucial COP24 climate change conference ‘must succeed’: Guterres

Saudi Arabia must halt air strikes in Yemen, says UN panel

Telemedicine in medical practices and its contribution to quality and accessibility to care

The ECB proposes a swift solution for SMEs’ financing

Trump asked Merkel to pay NATO arrears and cut down exports ignoring the EU

UN’s Grandi slams ‘toxic language of politics’ aimed at refugees, migrants

Accountability for atrocities in Myanmar ‘cannot be expected’ within its borders – UN investigator

African continent ‘an example of solidarity’ towards migrants and refugees: UN chief

How ‘savings circles’ empower women in rural Africa

Visiting North Korea, UN relief chief spotlights funding shortfall to meet humanitarian needs

A brief history of vaccines and how they changed the world

UN health agency team in China to strengthen coronavirus response through partnership

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

China’s stock markets show recovery signs while EU is closely watching in anticipation of the €10bn investment

Coronavirus global response: EU allocates additional €50 million in humanitarian aid

Greening the Belt and Road is essential to our climate’s future

EU long-term budget: EP still fighting for a good agreement

State aid: Commission approves French scheme deferring payment by airlines of certain taxes to mitigate economic impact of coronavirus outbreak

OECD joins with Argentina to fight financial crime

The Amazon is burning and we’re all watching

Who holds the key to the future of biotechnology? You do

The world has made spectacular progress in every measure of well-being. So why does almost no one know about it?

Victim-centred laws ‘paramount’ to combat online sexual abuse against children

Four things Turkey did for business in the G20

What are antibody tests and can they get the world back to work?

In aftermath of Libya airstrike deaths, UN officials call for refugees and migrants to be freed from detention

DR Congo: efforts to control Ebola epidemic continue, UN food relief agency doubles assistance to affected people

Only one in five countries has a healthcare strategy to deal with climate change

EU budget: Boosting cooperation between tax and customs authorities for a safer and more prosperous EU

The Commission tries to stop the ‘party’ with the structural funds

Aung San Suu Kyi appears at ICJ as UN rights expert urges greater protection for Myanmar activists

EU report: Implementation of reforms continues to bring EU and Ukraine closer together

Blockchain will make sure green pledges aren’t just greenwash: a new initiative by young leaders at the World Economic Forum

Forget GDP – for the 21st century we need a modern growth measure

The next talent opportunity for the digital workplace? Neurodiversity

‘Unconscionable’ to kill aid workers, civilians: UN Emergency Coordinator

EU invests in green projects and bans single-use plastics while climate change requires more to be done

This Filipino journalist is fighting for press freedom in COVID-19 lockdown

Parliament requests further action to save EU tourism

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s