UN, UK welcome new poll timelines in Somalia

Sunday June 28, 2020


MOGADISHU (HOL) The UN has welcomed the announcement by Somalia’s electoral commission to hold elections by March next year despite failure to meet constitutional timelines.

Reacting to the announcement by National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) chair Halima Yarey that elections were not feasible this year, UNSOM called for dialogue among various actors to realise the deadline.

“Now that the election commission has presented electoral options, the UN urges broad consultation among Somali political leaders to reach consensus on way forward the planned meeting of Federal Govt. and the Federal Member States is a good next step,” UNSOM said in a tweet.

The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) also thanked the electoral chief for the pronouncements.

Yarey told Parliament Saturday elections will not happen this year noting the earliest such an exercise can take place is March 2021.

Provided that manual registration starts in July, Yarey said, Somalia can hold elections in March. Should parliament however insist on biometric registration, Yarey said, elections will happen in August 2021.

The commission’s pronouncement has also been hailed by the UK. Ambassador Ben Fender of the UK in Somalia exuded confidence in the new timelines.

“Delighted to see @NIECsomalia confirm direct elections can be held in early 2021 with on-the-day voter registration (the more affordable model).  Welcome plans for FGS-FMS Presidents to discuss soonest, with a view to broader consensus on the way ahead + completing Parly process,” Fender tweeted.

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