Somalia: Committee proposes changes to poll modality
MOGADISHU, Somalia-A 26-member select committee that began examining Somalia’s Election Proposal (SEP) on April 9 have reportedly introduced sweeping changes to the electoral modality, sources tell Garowe Online.
The committee composed of former parliamentarians and current MPs have reduced the electoral college of 50 members for each MP to be elected to the Lower House to 11, citing lack of funds.
The commissioners are expected to report back to the parliament before Saturday, credible sources privy to the ongoing deliberations have confirmed.
Debate has heated up over Upper House of the Federal Parliament which would precede the formation of Lower House.
The committee is seeking that the house be suspended on account of alleged pressure by South West State Administration and a prospective regional state.
Somalia’s Federal Government (SFG) leadership is said to be aware of the proposed changes to election modality.
Moreover, the high level review may diminish the role of regional presidents in the selection and election process.
Election module amasses regional presidents with more power, a move met with only a lukewarm endorsement in Mogadishu.
On April 4, UN-backed national government and Puntland agreed to a scheme for 2016 electoral process, Upper House, 2020 roadmap, and tight implementation to be closely monitored by international community.
The lawmakers kicked off the debate for the electoral modality on May 3 as western donors push for accomplished benchmark on time.
Analysts warn of possible watershed moments for the country’s electoral transition later this year.
Somalia Federal Government introduced national election model that garnered swift support from western donors for long baffled by slower pace of the country’s transition from clan-based power sharing formula in January.
Recently, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke hoped that Somalia could see election date pushed back by at least two months.
Incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is seeking second term in office under a model, UN envoycalled “a midway point between the election of 2012, when only 135 electors selected 275 Members of Parliament and 2020, when all Somalis will have a say.”
Somalia held first-ever presidential election on its own since the state collapse, in September 2012.