UN praises Somalia deal on model for electoral process
Ban Ki-moon, UN Nations Secretary-General, has commended the agreement by Somalia’s government on a model for the electoral process.
UN Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said on Friday in New York that the model was to establish a new, bicameral federal parliament in 2016.
He said that Ban particularly applauded the commitment to representation of women and minority groups, including that women would comprise 30 per cent of the next parliament.
Meanwhile, Michael Keating, UN Special Envoy to Somalia, told the UN Security Council that the model envisages a lower house of 275 members based on a current power-sharing formula between clans.
He said that the upper house of 54 members based on equal representation of existing, emerging and prospective federal states and an allocation of additional seats to breakaway regions of Somaliland and Punt Land.
“This is the culmination of almost six months of intense consultations.
“It may be a watershed moment, marking the growing political maturity of a federal Somalia,” he said.
Keating explained that after the optimism that followed the 2012 election many diplomats had hoped for a “one person, one vote” system in 2016.
He said that the progress had been dented by frequent attacks by al Shabaab militants as well as political infighting and corruption.
Somalia’s President, Hassan Mohamud, had earlier said that the country would not be able to hold a popular vote for its planned 2016 elections.
In Somalia 2012 elections, members of parliament were chosen by elders and then those lawmakers chose Mohamud as president.
It was Somalia’s first election since 1991, when warlords ousted president Mohamed Siad’ Barre, plunging the country into years of war and chaos.
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