Somalia not to hold direct elections by 2016
MOGADISHU, Somalia, July 28, 2015 (Garowe Online)-Somalia’s Federal Parliament and Council of Ministers quashed plans to hold ‘one man, one vote’ elections by August 2016 for security and political reasons on Tuesday, Garowe Online reports.
Former Interior Minister and spokesman of 25-member parliamentary sub-committee on vision 2016, Abdullahi Godah Barre announced three points jointly agreed by parliament and the government led by Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke.
“The two branches of the government agreed that one man, one vote elections are impossible in the country in August 2016,” Barre said in the parliament, a day before Somalia Federal Government, federal member states and international community representatives gather for roundtable meeting on 2016 benchmarks.
Mogadishu-based federal government has called for national convention that will bring together key stakeholders on grounds of ‘plan B’ due to the failure to deliver on promises of democratic vote by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud during 2012 presidential election campaign.
Mohamud’s administration garnered hard-won international support on the pretext of transition into multi-party system in a country where swathes of territories, mainly rural areas are acquiesced to Al Shabaab rule.
Al Shabaab reverted to unprecedented guerrilla warfare after losing a string of strategic towns in central and southern Somalia to allied forces.
On Sunday, militants rammed explosive-laden truck into a seaside hotel popular with Somali government officials and foreigners, killing over a dozen and wounding scores.
Barre who is allied with Mohamud told the media that preparations should come into being on the outset of 2016 national blueprint.
On Monday, Jubaland administration which enjoys fertile hinterland along Jubba River and lucrative Kismayo seaport expressed reservations over Mogadishu leadership forum which will get underway on Wednesday.
Puntland previously refused to attend on account of national government’s blatant disregard for Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC).
Southwest state President Sharif Hasan Sheikh Adan, New Galmudug leader Abdikarin Hussein Gulled and Banadir Governor have so far confirmed their participation in Mogadishu meeting.
International partners whose support couldn’t be weaned off by the federal government have since been backing the grand point for direct elections in New Deal Somalia compact and vision 2016.
Somalia Parliament Speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari yesterday called ‘one man, one vote’ a remote possibility, pointing to lag government institutions, inaccurate population census, provisional constitution and instability.