The National Leadership Forum (NLF) held a meeting in Mogadishu from 02 – 09 August 2016.
The meeting was chaired by the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and was attended by; the Speaker of the Federal Parliament, H.E. Mohammed Osman Jawari; the Prime Minister of the Federal Government, H.E. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke; the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Government, H.E. Mohamed Omar Arte, the President of Puntland, H.E. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali-Gaas; the President of Jubbaland, H.E. Ahmed Mohamed Islaan; the President of South West, H.E. Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan; and the Vice President of Galmudug, H.E. Mohamed Hashi Abdi.
This meeting was a follow-up to the NLF meeting held in Baidoa on 22-25 June, in which decisions were made about 2016 elections.
The objective of this meeting was to finalize the pending issues on the implementation of the 2016 National Electoral Process.
1) Terms limit of the current institutions of the Federal Government of Somalia
The National Leadership Forum, having seen the schedule for the implementation of the 2016 elections which was submitted by the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT), having also seen Article 91 of the Federal Constitution which states that the term of office of the federal government branches of the [Somali] Republic shall be four (4) years starting from the day that they were sworn into office, being also mindful that due to the existing circumstances, it is not possible to hold elections within the remaining period of the term of office for the current government institutions (Federal Parliament and the President), leaders of the NLF considered the inevitability to move from the short transitional period in peace and instability and to avert institutional vacuum in the constitutionally mandated institutions of the Federal Government. The Forum authorizes that, starting from the date when the term of office of the government institutions expires, they (current institutions) shall continue to hold office until the new results of the elections of the constitutional institutions are announced, as stated in the calendar issued by (FIEIT).
2) Finalization of the Constitutional Review
The Forum proposes that it is necessary that the remaining work on the provisional constitution review to be completed by the 10th Parliament of the Federal Republic of Somalia that will be elected soon and which will also consider and give the first priority to the Resolution and annexes approved by the 9th Parliament in its 8th Session in 2016.
3) Use of the 4.5 Power-sharing Formula as a Transition to the Establishment and Implementation of Political Parties
The Forum welcomed the democratic principle that would enable the public to have an opportunity to fairly elect their leaders based on their political programs in which political parties contest, which is the most appropriate way that Somalia can move out of 4.5 election formula which was used as a transition. Therefore, the leaders of the National Leadership Forum agreed to promote the establishment and registration of political parties within two years, starting from the date when the 10th Parliament is elected. So, in order to achieve this, each candidate contesting a seat in either of the two houses of the Federal Parliament is required to sign a written declaration stating that, within two years starting from the date when 10th Parliament is sworn in, he/she will join one of the political parties that are legally established in the country, and that he/she will represent his/her political party in the Parliament. Members of Parliament who win the elections of either of the two houses of the Somali Parliament shall join political parties by latest 20th October 2018. The member of parliament is required to take a written evidence to the Office of the Speaker of Parliament regarding the political party in which he/she is a member, and which he/she represents in the Parliament. Any member of parliament who fails to join a political party beyond that time will lose membership of the house in which he/she serves and the seat shall be declared vacant and set for by-elections.
4) Issues Regarding the Electoral Committees:
a) The Forum has finalized the names of members of the State-Level Indirect Electoral Implementation Teams (SIEITs).
b) The Forum issued the number and names of the members of the Electoral Dispute Resolution Mechanism, and made the number 21 members whereas the previous number was 11 members.
Nine (9) of them are appointed by the Federal Government while each of the federal members states, or the emerging federal member states, would appoints two (2) members.
c) The Forum decided to deploy 3 members of the Electoral Dispute Resolution Mechanism to each polling station, and the deployed members of the EDRM shall reach their decisions by a simple majority.
d) The Forum decided that any complaint to be forwarded to the Electoral Dispute Resolution Mechanism can only be opened/considered only when the complainant pays the fees for opening the case file $1,000 (one thousand dollars).
5) Women Candidates Contesting for Either the Two Houses
a) Similarly, the Forum urges and stresses upon the traditional elders and the electoral colleges to ensure the following issues:
b) 30% of the elected members of the House of the People should be women.
c) Each of the four (main) clans should have eighteen (18) elected women members (of parliament) (4X18=72).
d) The fifth clan should have nine (9) elected women members (of parliament).
e) In order to enhance the opportunities for women in the 2016 elections, the Forum decided to lower the candidate fees for women to 50%, so as to encourage implementation of women quota in the Federal Parliament.
f) At least 30% of the electoral college of each sub-clan which is 51 should be women.
g) 50% of the members who are nominated to the Upper House should be women.
6) The Banadiri Community
a) The Prime Minister of the Federal Government, in consultation with the traditional elders of the Banadiri community who are among the 135 traditional elders and the peace-makers of the community, shall appoint the four (4) members electoral committee of the Banadiri community.
b) The three (3) traditional elders of the Banadiri community who are in the list of the 135 traditional elders, in consultation with the Prime Minister of the Government and the electoral committee of the Banadiri community, shall select a 21 member electoral college which is based on the seven sub-clans with three each (7X3=21).
c) The 21 member Electoral College shall vote for the candidates contesting for the Upper House.
d) The traditional elders of the Banadiri community who are in the list of the 135 traditional elders, in consultation with the peace-makers of the community, shall nominate the candidates contesting for the Upper House.
e) Finally, the traditional elders are tasked and responsible to consult among themselves and inform the Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia of the final implementation.
7) Voting Criteria
a) Election of each seat of the House of the People shall be valid when contested by at least two candidates.
b) The Forum decided that the 51 delegates voting in the each seat of the House of the People should all be present in the station where the election takes place in order to vote.
c) If the clan to which the seat belongs fails to complete the 51 delegates, election for the seat shall be postponed and the clan shall be given a chance to complete the 51 member delegates during the election period.
d) If the clan fails to complete the 51 delegates to vote for the seat of the House of the People during the election period, the seat shall be suspended.
8) Issues of Middle Shabelle and Hiran
a) The Forum urges and stresses upon the Federal Government to ensure the establishment of the regional administrations of Hiran and Middle Shabelle before the election time.
9) Upper House Seats for Somaliland communities
The National Leadership Forum, considering the decision of the Baidoa meeting regarding the resolution of power sharing and method of electing members of the Upper House from Somaliland and also the agreement of 12 April 2016 on the indirect elections of 2016 and process of establishing the Upper House of Parliament which states “Existing or emerging federal member states shall devise a formula to distribute the seats to clans/peoples or areas/districts, in a balanced and inclusive manner, making sure that minorities get enough representation”. The Forum decided 3 seats be reserved for the clans of Sool, Eastern Sanaag and Buuhoodle of which one seat belongs to minority clans in the areas.
The Forum also decided that 2 members be added to the number of seats that are reserved to the Somaliland communities in the Upper House of the Federal Parliament.
Finally, the traditional elders are tasked and responsible to consult among themselves and inform the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia of the final implementation, the Office of the Speaker of the Federal Parliament of Somalia and the Office of the Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia.
10) Electoral Calendar
The Forum endorsed the timelines of the calendar of the 2016 election that was submitted by the FIEIT:
a) Election of members of the Upper House to take place on 25 September
b) Election of members of the House of the People to take place 24 September – 10 October
c) Members of parliament to be sworn in on 20 October
d) Speaker of parliament to be elected on 25 October
e) Election of the President to take place on 30 October
The Forum would like to thank the Goodwill Ambassadors on Somali women who really showed professional skills and commitment to achieve the 30% women quota.
The Forum would also like to thank the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) for the good job it has done during the short period that it was in existence.
The Forum would like to thank the international community that always supports the Federal Government of Somalia.
The Forum agreed that next meeting of the Forum be held in Mogadishu on 07/ 09/ 2016.