UN envoy urges Somalia’s lawmakers to speed up electoral process

By Caasimada Online

The United Nations top envoy in Somalia called Somali lawmakers to take bold steps to advance pressing national priorities ahead of 2020-2021 elections.

James Swan, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Somalia in a statement said, the eyes of the Somali people, as well as those of Somalia’s international partners, are on Parliament as you open the seventh session of the Federal Parliament.

Swan said the United Nations remains committed to supporting your work as you begin this important session.

“These include work related to the upcoming national elections, amendments to the Political Parties Law and consideration of the report of the joint ad hoc committee on the Electoral Law, as well as the presentation by the National Independent Electoral Commission.” He said.

Ahead of Somalia’s forthcoming “one person, one vote” elections, he urged members of the parliament to conduct their work in the spirit of inclusivity, drawing in voices from across the political and social spectrum, and giving prominence to the views of women, minority groups and those who have historically lacked representation.

“Honorable Members, Somalia is at a critical juncture, and the work of the Federal Parliament will determine Somalia’s path to democracy and stability for many years to come,” he said. “Unity of purpose among Somalis is indispensable as the country traverses this arduous and delicate period.”

The UN envoy also congratulated members of the parliament on their determination to convene the session and ensure continuity in Parliament’s work, despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wish to express my appreciation for your work and encourage you to bring all stakeholders together, to foster reconciliation, build consensus on national priorities and contribute to addressing the challenges facing the country,” he stated.