Somalia Sets February 25 Deadline for Parliamentary Polls

Somalia Sets February 25 Deadline for Parliamentary Polls (News Central TV)

After a series of consultations with stakeholders last week, chaired by Prime Minister Hussein Roble under the arrangement known as the National Consultative Council (NCC), key Somali leaders ultimately arrived at the decision which brings hope to the political turmoil facing the country.

The Council which includes Roble as chair and the five federal presidents of Puntland, Jubbaland, Hirshabelle, South West and Galmudug states reset the electoral programme for the country, advising that all parliamentary elections be completed by February 25.

The meeting was also attended by governor of Benadir, the metropolitan region that also includes Mogadishu.

During the three days of consultations, the Council engaged the civil society, opposition leaders and the international community.
It ratified an 18-point declaration that could ease uncertainties over the elections in the country.

The resolutions jointly signed by PM Roble, the five presidents of the Federal Member States (FMS), and  the Mayor of Mogadishu, who is also governor of Benadir, stated that the ongoing parliamentary election is concluded between January 15 and February 25.

The parties agreed that names of delegates voting for each member of the House of the People (HOP) be duly published.

Somalia initially planned to hold indirect elections from November 2020 but rescheduled the polls thrice, all of which deadlines were missed.

The indirect polls are such that specially selected delegates vote for legislators in the bicameral federal house. The legislators then vote for the President.

The delays have meant that President Mohamed Farmaajo has stayed in office longer than his term which technically expired on February 8 2021, four years after he was elected.

Although his stay was enabled by parliamentary law passed to avoid a vacuum, election delays have often led to tensions as witnessed last year when security forces split and sided with their clan heads.

Tensions waned after leaders agreed Roble should take charge of the elections programme, to avoid any candidate from influencing the timelines.


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