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Government hand in August polls erodes integrity of the process- HIPS

The participation of the National Leadership Forum and regional administrations in overseeing the upcoming polls beats the logic of a quest for a democratic process in Somalia, a Mogadishu based policy think tank has said.

In a policy brief, Heritage Institute for Policy Studies, HIPS has strongly questioned the intent and purpose of the Federal and regional government’s hand in managing the polls noting that their participation amounts to double standards since some of them are interested parties.

National Leadership Forum

The National Leadership Forum, NLF whose make up consists of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament and leaders of regional administrations has been steering the process towards selection of an electoral formula for the 2016 polls.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has since declared his intentions to defend his position in the September polls.

In a communique April 12, the NLF said the elections will be overseen by a two level structure comprising the Federal Electoral Implementation Team, FEIT and a State-Level Electoral Implementation Team SEIT.


The FEIT will be composed of 17 Members where Five (5) members will be appointed by the Federal Government and two (2) members appointed by each of existing/emerging Member States. On the other hand, SEIT will comprise of 11 members; Eight (8) members appointed by the Federal Member State and three (3) appointed by the Federal Government.

HIPS has dismissed this arrangement noting the National Independent Electoral Commission, NIEC is the sole body mandated by the constitution to conduct the elections. “There should only be a national electoral commission. The regional electoral committees or commissions should be scrapped, as the current election is a national contest,” said HIPS. It noted ‘the commission overseeing the election should not be minions of the NLF.’

Upper House members

Further, HIPS has questioned the need for the regional government leaders to nominate the Upper House candidates and sign off the final list of the elected candidates.

The NLF in its final statement noted that regional state executives shall nominate two individuals who will then be subjected to a vote by the state assemblies. Moreover, the Presidents of the Federal Member States shall duly sign the list of official members of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament for their respective States after SEITs forward the certified final results.

This arrangement, HIPS elaborates derails the purpose and need to establish an Upper House which commands the confidence and integrity of the public as espoused in the constitution.

“The scheme that the regional presidents will nominate two candidates, one of whom the regional parliament must pick, is totally undemocratic. Since the senate is a new institution and the slogan by politicians has been “we will usher in an enhanced electoral process”, all electors in each region should vote for the senators in that state rather than regional presidents presenting two nominees,” the paper read in part.

Affirmative action

The affirmative action on implementing the 30% quota for women in parliament has also caught the attention of policy analysts. The NLF proposed that 30% of the Electoral College for the Lower House will be allocated to women. However, HIPS notes this does not translate to 30% of seats.

Each Member of Parliament will be elected by 50 voters chosen from the respective sub clans. However, HIPS says, the 15 women in each electoral college will not necessarily translate to 30% seats.

To achieve the 30% threshold, an average of 82 women must be elected for the Lower House which is made up of 275 members.

HIPS has also proposed that Mogadishu be allocated eight senators, four of them from the dominant communities in the city and the rest be given to other Somali clans. The NLF has not factored in Mogadishu for a seat in the Upper House, a matter which HIPS says is a deprivation and abuse of power.

Parliament is expected Saturday to debate the electoral proposals submitted to the Speaker by the NLF.