Town hall meeting discusses Somali draft electoral law

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Mogadishu:- A town hall meeting and panel discussion that brought together members of the public, civil society groups, representatives of political parties and Somali legislators to review the 2020/2021 draft electoral law was held in Mogadishu on Sunday, as one way of contributing to the review process of the draft law and encouraging an inclusive and transparent electoral process.

Speaking during the opening of the panel discussion, AMISOM Senior Political Officer, Hajji Ssebirumbi, said together with Somalia Non-State Actors (SONSA), Somali Institute of Public Administration and Management (SIPAM), the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) and other partners, AMISOM was supporting the electoral process by facilitating dialogue on the draft laws and models governing the 2020/2021 election.

“AMISOM is here to support Somalia on the security front and also ensure that the country has a well organized and smooth political processes including on reconciliation, credible elections, and the establishment of local government administration. We are here to provide an environment for Somalis to dialogue, and this time it’s about contributing to the draft electoral law” Hajji said.

Hajji further said this was the second of a series of AMISOM facilitated town hall meetings aimed at increasing public awareness on preparation for 2020/2021 elections adding that similar forums would be held in federal capitals around the country.

Participants at this town hall forum had a question and answer session with members of the Somali Federal Parliament, National Independent Electoral Committee (NIEC), members of the Bar Association and representatives of political parties.

Engineer Mohamed Ahmed Nur, from NIEC, said the commission was ready and had the capacity to hold credible elections. “We have established voter registration platforms and centers at all the regional states and our offices in the regions are operational. We have trained our staff and we are technically ready. We are only waiting for Parliament to pass the Electoral Law,” said Nur.

The legal advisor for Somali Women Development Center (SWDC), Zahra Mohamed Ahmed, who was representing Somali Women Leaders Forum said it was refreshing to note the participation of women in the town hall meetings.

“We are here to ensure that issues of women representation are reflected in the electoral laws. The review committee has already done a commendable job by specifying nomination and appointment positions and we will continue to push for our slots in the elective posts as well,” said Ms Ahmed.