Somalia issues election calendar, presidential vote set for October 10

Somalia election
Somalia election
Photo credit: Simon Maina | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Prime Minister Hussein Roble said on Tuesday that the country should have new MPs and a President by October, if the schedule is followed.

Somalia’s much-delayed presidential election will be held on October 10, according to a new timetable announced by Prime Minister Hussein Roble’s organising team.

The announcement in the capital, Mogadishu, followed two-day discussions by the National Consultative Forum, which comprises the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), the five Federal Member States and the Mmyor of Mogadishu.

The meeting took place at the ‘big tent,’ a facility inside Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport, which is highly guarded by peacekeepers operating under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

Present at the Monday meeting that was opened and chaired by PM Roble were Presidents Said Abdullahi Deni (Puntland), Ahmed Kariye Qoorqoor, (Galmudug) Abdiaziz Hassan Laftagareen (South West), Ahmed Mohamed Islam Madobe (Jubbaland) and mayor Omar Mohamed Filish.

Hirshabelle President Ali Hussen Gudlawe took part in the meeting virtually from Turkey.

The polls calendar is based on an agreement reached last month.

PM Roble said Tuesday that the country should have new MPs and a President by October, if the schedule is followed.

In a timeline released by the Somali Electoral Consultative Council, chaired by PM Roble, the election initially scheduled to be held after two months of the agreement will now be staggered from July to October.

It shows a programme for training polling officials, nominating delegates and voting for MPs and the President, activities which must all happen between this week and October.

The schedule

  1. Training and election of the chairman of electoral commissions - June 30 - July 5
  2. Election of the Upper House - July 25
  3. Preparation of election polling stations - July 23
  4. Selection and preparation of electoral delegates - July 15 - August 10
  5. Election of members of Parliament - August 10 - September 10
  6. Swearing-in of the members of Parliament and election of the Speaker of both Houses of the Somali Parliament – September 20
  7. Presidential Election – October 10

Women candidates

The council halved the registration fee for women candidates.

A team of elders and experts was also appointed to lead reconciliation in troubled Gedo, Jubbaland State, and have local communities agree on venues of elections.

The committee was instructed to expedite the reconciliation process in Gedo region.

“The election season has started," FGS Spokesman Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimu told the media, adding the sure indication will be PM Roble's opening of the training of election committees.      

“The National Consultative Forum has approved a special committee assigned to reconcile the stalemate in Gedo region.”

How it works

According to Somalia’s chosen indirect election model, the presidential election is attained through a vote by members of the Lower House and the senators of the Upper House.

The 54 senators will be elected by the parliaments of the Federal Member States.

Senators representing the self-declared region of Somaliland will be elected by a special committee arranged in Mogadishu at the same time.

The 275 members of the Lower House, officially known as Golaha Shacabka (the people’ hall), will be elected in their respective constituencies.

Each MP will be elected by 101 delegates from respective clans in a complex clan power-sharing system.

When both houses have their members totaling 329 and elect their respective speakers and deputy speakers, they will select a committee to conduct the presidential election.

It is expected to be a crowded field including a number of opposition presidential candidates, currently united under the Coalition of the Presidential Candidates (CPC), nominally chaired by Former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

It includes former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and ex-Prime Miniser Hassan Ali Khaire.

Incumbent President Mohamed Farmaajo, whose official term in office lapsed on February 8, is expected to announce his candidacy and to emerge as a strong contestant.


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