AMISOM Backs Somalia’s 2016 Electoral Model

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Baidoa, February 15, 2016 – AMISOM senior leadership was part of an international delegation that rallied Interim South West Administration (ISWA) to support the 2016 electoral model.

Senior Political Affairs Officer, Ssebirumbi Kisinziggo, joined a delegation comprising the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Michael Keating, European Union (EU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Federal Government of Somalia and embassies of Djibouti, Kenya Uganda and Ethiopia on February 14.

“I am here as part of African Union representation to the international community delegation which has come to the Interim South West Administration (ISWA). The purpose of our visit here is to listen to ISWA’s views on the electoral process later this year. You are aware that the model for election for 2016 was selected by members of the regions and the Federal Government of Somalia recently, in January,” said Mr Kisinziggo.

The Senior Political Affairs officer said the main agenda was to emphasize the international community’s support for the electoral model agreed upon recently and to ensure both regional and the federal government leaders back the roadmap for its implementation.

One of the key points of the electoral model is that the next Parliament both the Upper and Lower House will have representation based on a balance between constituency and clan. It also stipulates that a minimum of 30 percent of seats in both the Upper and Lower House will be reserved for women.

“AMISOM is here to support both the government and the international community to achieve the same objectives of ensuring that Somalia gets back to its feet and returns as a full member of the international community,” said Mr Kisinziggo.

Speaking during the media briefing, ISWA President, Shariff Hassan Sheikh Ada, stated that upcoming election and ISWA’s view on the electoral model to be applied dominated the talks that were held behind closed doors.

“The delegates headed by the SRSG including the ambassadors and AMISOM leaders, both governmental and non-governmental are here today to take stock of the progress made and the suitable model for the 2016 general election in Somalia. We discussed at length about all these issues,” noted President Shariff Hassan Sheikh Ada.

The ISWA President said the residents expressed their views and opinions regarding the issues discussed, adding that the leadership was ready to steer South West regions towards any change that will benefit the local people.

“We want Somalia to move forward, to be united and to collectively defeat Al-Shabaab. We support a fair and inclusive election where everyone’s opinion is represented, owned by the people. We support the model forwarded by the Federal Government of Somalia,” President Shariff Hassan Sheikh Ada said.

The visit is part of a countrywide consultation the international community has held with federal member states to listen to their views on the proposed 2016 electoral model.

The delegation held meetings with the ISWA President, cabinet ministers, Speaker of Parliament, Governor of Bay Region, Baidoa District Commissioner, traditional elders and members of the civil society among others.