,menafan– African Press Organization)
Somalia’s international partners* are encouraged that more than 91 percent of the Lok Sabha seats have now been selected. We believe this represents an unstoppable momentum to fill the remaining seats very soon.
Only the State of Hirschbele and the State of Jubaland have not yet completed the electoral process for the Lok Sabha. We urge them to do so without delay, prioritizing the dialogue and consultation necessary to dismantle the electoral system – particularly in Jubaland – to ensure that the communities concerned are represented in the next Parliament.
We commend all Federal Member State Election Implementation Teams (SEITs) for submitting documents to the Federal Election Implementation Team (FEIT) in view of the newly elected members being sworn in by the competent authorities on 14 April. We urge that preparations for the April 14 swearing-in proceed at speed, even as work continues to resolve other pending issues and complete the remaining seats in Hirschbell and Jubaland.
As the focus is now on organizing parliament in Mogadishu – and electing parliamentary speakers and then a national speaker – we call on Somalia’s political leaders to ensure that the process reflects broad consensus. This is particularly important for deciding on venues, security protocols and anti-corruption measures for Parliament’s election-related meetings. It is important that arrangements in this final phase of the electoral process find strong support across the political spectrum and produce an outcome that is considered valid by all. Somalia’s leaders can then address other urgent national priorities, such as responding to a devastating drought and building Somalia’s security and prosperity for years to come.
We deeply regret the numerous electoral irregularities witnessed across the country and the dismal failure to achieve the 30 per cent quota for representation of women in Parliament required by the Agreement of 17 September 2020. We hope that more women will be elected as the remaining seats are exhausted in Hirshabele and Jubaland. After the election, Somalis should redouble efforts to ensure that women are included as full participants and take a leading role in national decision-making in all sectors of society.
International partners extend warm greetings to all Somalis as the holy month of Ramadan begins. Let the leaders of Somalia be guided by the principles of reflection, charity, unity and solidarity of Ramadan at this critical moment for the nation.
*African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Union (EU), Finland, France, Germany, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Arab League States (LAS), Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and United Nations.
Delivered by the APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
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