Parliament approves electoral deal in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Somalia Parliament on Saturday approved the electoral deal ending several months of wrangles which almost threatened to disintegrate the country, in yet another dramatic occasion which would definitely define the nation's future political realignments.
Before the historic sitting of the bicameral house, there were concerns that Parliament would sabotage the implementation of the deal, following months of disagreements between the Senate and Lower House, which were sharply divided over the quest to resolve the pre-election quagmire.
While the Senate was against approval of various electoral deals, the Lower House which leans towards President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo passed the legislation in what was seen as a move to extend the term of the current administration beyond December contrary to the anticipation of the Constitution.
But at Mogadishu, the two Chambers endorsed a recently reached deal between the Federal Government and the member states, paving way for the preparation of elections later on this year. The tenure of the current administration expires in November after which elections will be held.
Of those who attended the sitting, 252 members approved the deal, one abstained and two rejected the 2020/21 Electoral Agreement which means the country will go to the election as agreed in the Mogadishu conference that brought together a number of stakeholders.
The Houses will now come up with modalities of picking elders who will be identifying stakeholders who will be participating in the elections. The teams had settled on the Constituency Caucus model which would see at least 101 electors picking the MPs who will, later on, elect the president.
Previously, the country had a total of 14,025 electors picking MPs for elections but the number might be higher under the current format due to many constituencies. The old model was known as 4.5 and was fragile in the sense that there were chances of picking Al-Shabaab members to the house.
However, the international community has expressed regret over the new model, insisting that it doesn't reflect the aspirations of direct voting which Somalia has been pushing for. The negative reception of the deal by the partners could further derail the much-anticipated polls, further raising anxiety among the political players.