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International community welcomes presidential decree on 2016 electoral process

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Mogadishu, 22 May 2016 – The United Nations, the African Union (AU), the Inter-GovernmentalAuthority on Development (IGAD), the European Union (EU), Ethiopia, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States welcome the decree issued by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on the modalities of the 2016 electoral process.

The international community notes that the decree will enable the technical preparation and implementation of the electoral process without further delay. It is in accordance with the repeated commitments of the Federal Government, the Federal Parliament, the National Leadership Forum and other key actors and institutions that there should be no extension of the constitutionally mandated term limits of the legislature and the executive.

“Somalia’s international partners welcome and fully support the step that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the Federal Government have taken,” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating.  “We all would have preferred a different scenario for the endorsement of the model. But intense engagement among politicians, especially in the last few weeks, made it evident that the Federal Parliament would have had great difficulty in agreeing on and legalizing the model”

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“The President and his government have acted to preserve timelines that will allow technical preparation and implementation of the electoral process, which were at serious risk. The challenge now is to prepare and implement the elections. We call on all Somali stakeholders to now work constructively to that end”

International partners recognize that the modalities of the electoral process are the result of negotiations over the course of nearly ten months. These began with the joint declaration by the Federal Government and the Federal Parliament on 28 July 2015 that one-person, one-vote elections would not be possible in Somalia in 2016.  Inclusive and participatory consultations on an electoral model have been held across the country. They noted that Somali leaders have worked hard to achieve agreement on the modalities of the electoral model.

There are many technical and procedural issues still to be resolved,  including the National Leadership Forum’s commitment to reserve 30 per cent of seats in both Houses of Parliament for women and the formation of an electoral dispute resolution body. International partners stressed their commitment to support a timely, transparent and inclusive electoral process.

“This decree is a decisive move in the right direction. Political progress is critical to the millions of Somalis who want stability and greater accountability. It is also essential for both regional and international peace and security,” SRSG Keating stressed.

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