Somalia urged to embrace dialogue to resolve poll obstacles

Somalia’s international partners on Friday called on the country’s stakeholders to resolve any obstacles to completion of the process in the remaining voting sites through dialogue and on a consensus basis, so as to rapidly and credibly conclude the elections.

The partners including the African Union, European Union, United Nations noted that more than 80 percent of the House of the People seats were completed as of March 15 deadline.

“We, therefore, call upon all political leaders to avoid approaches, including a parallel process, that are not based on an agreement among the key actors,” the partners said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

The statement comes after the electoral committee set April 14 for the swearing-in of the elected members of two chambers of the country’s Parliament.

The electoral body said 50 of the elected lawmakers are women. Jubbaland and Hirshabelle States are to elect the remaining 33 seats.

The partners reiterated that efforts must be redoubled to achieve the 30 percent quota for women’s representation in parliament.

The 54-member Senate and the 275 members of parliament from the House of the People, or the Lower House, are expected to jointly elect a new president later in 2022