SRSG Keating welcomes Jubbaland’s reaction to the Federal Govt’s decision on the electoral model

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

Mogadishu, 4 February 2016 – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating, welcomes the reaction of Jubbaland leaders to the Federal Government’s decision on an electoral model for 2016.
Ambassadors and representatives from the international community – the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the European Union (EU), Ethiopia, Italy and Sweden – led by SRSG Keating, visited Kismaayo on 4 February. The Office of the Prime Minister was represented by the Permanent Secretary.

They were invited to listen to views on the Federal Government’s decision on an electoral model for 2016, its implementation, and proposals for a Road Map to 2020 which will lead to ‘one person one vote’ elections.

The ambassadorial party met with President Sheikh Ahmed Islam “Madobe”, members of his cabinet and of the Jubba Regional Assembly including the Speaker of the Regional Parliament, leaders from civil society, women’s and youth groups, traditional elders and the business community.

Jubbaland representatives voiced their concerns regarding the electoral model that will be used later this year, especially retention of the ‘4.5’ formula for the Lower House. They asked for guarantees that the model will not be used again in 2020.

After constructive dialogue, those present stated that they would accept the Federal Government’s decision in the interest of peace, unity and the national interest, even though it does not meet their expectations. They requested the Federal Government to share the Road Map and set out the steps to achieve universal suffrage by 2020. They expressed their expectation that international partners will help make it happen.

“This was a remarkable day,” said SRSG Keating. “Both President Madobe and Jubbaland representatives deserve praise for their responsible approach, despite their reservations. The challenge now is implementation of the model this year, and mapping out the road to 2020”.