Somali Leaders Agree to Hold Elections This Year

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Somali leaders have consented to the holding of a General Election later this year. The leaders made the resolution during a three-day conference that ended in Mogadishu on Tuesday.

The regional states and the central government officials reiterated their commitment to a no extension of the terms of the legislative and the Federal Government beyond August 2016.

They included President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, the Speaker of the Federal Parliament, Mr Mohammed Osman Jawari, Prime Minister of the Federal Government, Mr Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmaarke and his deputy, Mr Mohamed Omar Arte.

The presidents of the semiautonomous states of Puntland, Galmudug, Southwest and Jubaland also took part in the three-day conference on the election modalities.

The leaders agreed on an electoral process for a parliament composed of the Upper and a Lower house or a House of Representatives.

Since Somalia declared last year that the one-man, one-vote system was not achievable due to various factors including insecurity, the leaders chose an alternative modalities to select a 54-member Upper House and a 275-member Lower House.

According to a communiqué released later at Villa Somalia, the state house in Mogadishu, federal and state level electoral teams will coordinate the process.

The members of the Lower House will be picked through a clan-power sharing known as the 4.5 Formula, giving the four major groups equal share, while a coalition of smaller ones will share half the allocation.

The communiqué read: “Each candidate will be elected by an Electoral College of 50 members. Therefore, the total electorate will be 275 MPs x 50 = 13,750.” It added: “The federal and regional administrations will approve the members of the Upper House.”

Under this process, the Horn of Africa country is expected to have a two-chamber parliament by August 2016 and a president elected by the combined MPs in September.

The three-day gathering was also witnessed by representatives from the international community.

Somalia is recovering from two and half decades of civil war and its security stability was being boosted by peacekeepers serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

Wednesday, at least three people were killed and six others wounded in a blast at a busy livestock market in Somalia, a security officer said.

The blast took place in the busy Afgoye district, some 30 kilometres south of the capital Mogadishu.


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