The bodies formed to implement Somalia’s 2016 electoral process at the state and regional levels received an in-depth briefing on the process from the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) during three days of meetings in Mogadishu this week.
The meetings brought together six State-Level Indirect Electoral Implementation Teams (SIEITs) consisting of 11 members each, and FIEIT chairperson Omar Mohamed Abdulle urged the bodies to maintain their impartiality and independence throughout the process that will select the country’s next federal parliament later this year.
According to a timetable released by the National Leadership Forum last week, electoral colleges will select the 275 members of the lower house of the federal parliament between 24 September and 10 October. The 58 members of the upper house will be chosen at the state and regional levels on 25 September.
Members of the new parliament will take their seats on 20 October and hold a vote on presidential candidates on 30 October.
The briefings of the 66 SIEIT members focused in part on the role of the 135 elders who will choose the 14,025 delegates of the 275 electoral colleges as well as the composition of the delegates.
“The team has prepared the process and procedure of the electoral process,” said Mr. Abdulle. “The FIEIT will follow the international standards of elections that will help (Somalia’s) indirect elections to become credible.”
He noted that the FIEIT is mandated to ensure that the SIEITs transparently implement and supervise the electoral process in the country’s six states and regions.
The FIEIT chairperson said this week’s briefings were designed to bring together the federal and state-level implementation teams. The next phase will feature visits by FIEIT and SIEIT members to polling sites in the various states to brief the 135 elders about their role in the entire process.
FIEIT Deputy Chairperson Deeqa Yusuf Yasin said the electoral process that will take place in Somalia during the months of September and October will be an improvement on the selection process that took place in 2012.
Puntland SIEIT member Saynab Ugas Yasin said she had high expectations that the 30 percent quota for female representation in the next federal parliament can be achieved through this year’s electoral process.