Cadaado, 24 November 2016 – Members of the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) visited the Galmudug state capital today to push for timely completion of ongoing elections for seats in the federal parliament’s House of the People.
The FIEIT team met with senior state officials to discuss the status of the elections in Galmudug, which so far has filled 21 out of its 36 allocated seats in the lower chamber.
“Our visit today is to assess how the elections are going on in Galmudug. We are here to ensure that the process is finished on time, by 30 November this year. We want to encourage them to do keep doing the good work and where there are concerns, then we would address and find solutions,” said FIEIT Chairman Omar Mohamed Abdulle.
Mr. Abdulle said FIEIT would adhere to the election timetable it released in September. He said the timely completion of the electoral process would enable the country to have a new government and federal parliament before the end of 2016.
FIEIT is pressing state-level governments and electoral bodies to expedite voting for the remaining seats in the House of the People that have not yet been filled. A two-thirds quorum of members is needed in both houses of the federal parliament to hold a presidential election in the legislature, according to Somalia’s 2012 Provisional Constitution. The Upper House has crossed that threshold with 43 of its 54 seats already having been elected.
“We hope to have at least two-thirds of the members of the Lower House before the November 30 deadline. We now have a total of 145 members, if we get 35 more members, the country would have an institution that can sit and decide on issues,” Abdulle added.
His remarks drew support from the Vice President of Galmudug, Mohamed Hashi, who assured the FIEIT team that the state’s remaining 15 members would be elected before the end of this month.
“We did a lot of work to resolve disputes. We hope to finish the election of the remaining members of the Lower House by Monday or Tuesday next week,” said Mr. Hashi.
In other election news, the FIEIT and the Independent Electoral Disputes Resolution Mechanism (IEDRM) issued a joint press statement announcing they are investigating cases of electoral malpractice following allegations of corruption, intimidation and manipulation in the ongoing electoral process.
The two electoral bodies warned today that stern action will be taken on cases where proof of electoral malpractice is confirmed.
“When investigations confirm that serious malpractices have occurred, the FIEIT and the IEDRM will take appropriate and decisive actions,” said the two bodies in the statement. “Such actions will include nullification of the election results and disqualification of candidates who have committed the malpractices.”
The statement also expressed concern about the failure of some clans to comply with the 30 percent quota established by the National Leadership Forum (NLF) for women’s representation in the parliament. In the case of Galmudug, only three of the 21 members elected to the House of the People thus far are women.
“This rule needs to be respected in all the upcoming elections. Failure to fulfill this requirement will result in action by the FIEIT and IEDRM against the offending clans both in past and upcoming elections,” the statement warned.
Both electoral bodies urged all stakeholders to abide by the rules and regulations of the electoral process as defined and agreed by the NLF.