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Somalia leaders decide on election model, mixing regions with clan


MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 17, 2015 (Garowe Online)-Somali political leaders concluded a three-day consultative forum on model for 2016 electoral transition, agreeing to mixture of clan-based system and regions, Garowe Online reports.

Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, leaders of Puntland, Southwest State, Jubaland, Galmudug and representatives from yet-to-be-formed interim administrations as well as the country’s vital international partners have gathered for the packed consultative forum, the second conference to be staged in jockey for consensus on which election model, Somalia should hold when the mandate of the current government ends by 2016.

Despite challenging political hurdles in the course of the deliberations, a statement issued late on Wednesday pointed to the need for enhanced selection process.

Somali leaders agreed on the formation of upper and lower houses with members whose structure and size will be selected on the basis of clan representation and regions.

With larger pace signaled for youth and minorities, women are also set to be represented well in national assembly.

The new model is seen as a framework that would appease all stakeholders, given how they stuck to different choices in nation-wide national consultations.

“First it must include an element of choice. No more nominations of MPs. There must be an opportunity for some people to vote for a choice of candidates; secondly it brings the process closer to the people,” outgoing United Nations envoy, Ambassador Nicholas Kay told Somali leaders on the onset of Mogadishu Consultative Conference.

The joint press statement dashes hopes for term extension for the current leadership.

Somali leaders are scheduled to convene over details of the endorsed political transition in the southern port city of Kismayo on 10th of January.

Beyond communiqué, what we know so far [Brief Analysis]

Formally there was some consensus on how Somalia can exercise enhanced legitimacy in 2016 but still not enough since we don’t see much ado about nothing and leaders on both sides—whether Puntland and Jubaland camp---or Galmudug and Southwest State are in quandary.

Mogadishu communiqué was just a lip service and a move might have been meant for appeasing the international partners.

The commitment of international Ambassadors like UN’s Nick Kay has been felt and himself admitted that ‘framework is agreed’, yet how far have Somali political leaders gone?...

“Important detail needs to be added when #Somalia's leaders meet in #Kismaayo on 10 January,” he tweeted in reaction to a separate news story titled ‘Somali Leaders Reach Agreement on Election Framework’.

National Consultative Conference was virtually a mere conundrum that adds to a host of political challenges facing Somalia today.

Mogadishu communiqué sums up differences looming larger over election model. Compromise is fragile and a lot needs to be overcome in yet another Kismayo gathering. In spades, Somali political leaders have agreed to confidence building measures but agreement. 

Editor’s Note: 

We apologize to our readers for misstating the election model to which Somalia aspires, by 2016 in the earlier version of this story, entitled: “mixture of 4.5 quota and regions in lieu of clan process that has yet to be defined and constituencies”.

Garowe Online is as has been-committed to the highest level of professionalism--and--we deem this as an apology over the content of the report. 


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