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Consultative forums on 2016 electoral process kicks off across Somalia

Storyline:National News

Somali regional and federal leaders have started Regional consultations to discuss the 2016 electoral process  across the nation.

The forums are being held in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Kismayo, Garowe and Adado, and will each be attended by up to 150 people from the region

“Today is a very exciting day in the development of Somalia as a democratic nation and people from all over Somalia: women, young people, business people, elders, community leaders will gather together to consider and discuss the best way for Somalia to support a peaceful transition of political power in September 2016,” reads statement issued from the office of the president.

The president said in his statement that the ongoing consultative forums will not be easy task as it will consume time and commitment.

“The hundreds of people who will meet across Somalia over the next two days carry the weight of responsibility to carefully consider a range of different electoral process options, and offer their own opinions and perspectives about what will work best as an electoral process in 2016,” the statement noted.

The regional forums are being convened in order to identify and document the different perspectives that exist.

The output of the consultations will be a document that reflects the perspectives gathered in each of the consultations, to and to map areas of greatest agreement and divergence.

The results of the consultative process, in the form of an agreed national electoral process in 2016, will be presented by the National Consultation Forum, before the end of 2015.

The Provisional Federal Constitution states that the original four-year term of the current federal legislative branch (the Federal Parliament) of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) ends in August 2016 while the federal executive term ends in September 2016.

On 19th September this year, Somali leaders held three day consultative conference in Mogadishu where they agreed to establish the National Consultative Forum on the electoral process for 2016.

The conference which brought together the country’s leadership and international partners agreed to establish the Forum which will consist of representatives from the Federal Government, Regional States, Civil Society and international partners which will largely play an observer role.

In a communiqué from the conference said the formation of the National Consultative Forum is in line with the provisions of the 2016 roadmap otherwise known as Vision 2016 and the policy guidelines agreed upon during the High Level Partnership Forum in July.

That agreement was also in line with the call by the United Nations Security Council not to extend the term of the current administration after August 2016.

“Resolution 2232 (2015) from the United Nations is categorical that there will be no extension or delay of the 2016 elections. We also attach importance to the implementation of the decision of the government in the peace process towards the 2016 election,” read the communiqué in part.