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Risk of another poll delay as clans and regional states miss deadlines

Storyline:National News

A possible election delay is in the offing after clan elders failed to meet the October 10th deadline for submission of lists of delegates who will elect members of the Lower House as regional administrations also miss an extended timeline.

Out of the six regional centres which the various clans are spread, only South West whose clans (largely Digil and Merifle) constitute 68 seats to the Lower House had by end of deadline submitted a lists of 2,958 delegates which add up to 58 MPs.

Each member of the Lower House is elected by 51 delegates. A survey carried out by Goobjoog News indicates the region is remaining with a list for 11 MPs which is an equivalent of 551 delegates.

Though the Lower House elections are based on the 4.5 clan system as opposed to geographic distribution, a mapping out of clans can yield a geographic spread.

The other clans spread across Jubbaland, Puntland and Galmudug are yet to submit their lists. These same three regional states had their lists for the Upper House returned by the Federal electoral body FIEIT for failing to meet the 30% threshold for women representation.

A two days extension after October 5th deadline to regional administrations to submit lists of delegates lapsed with no lists on sight. Only South West state which also missed the deadline submitted its list two days later which the electoral body certified as having met the 30% threshold for women.

The FIEIT and the National Leadership Forum are yet to agree on the polling centres for Somaliland and the newly formed Hirshabelle state. The Somaliland State Level Indirect Electoral Implementation Team, had had earlier warned of political challenges regarding the lists of both Upper and Lower Houses.

The elections of members of the Lower House is set to start October 23 and run through to November 10 while that of the Upper House remains unclear though a FIEIT official told Goobjoog News it was to be concluded on October 10.

SIEIT officials from Puntland, Galmudug and Jubbaland told Goobjoog News they are in the process of submitting the lists.

Noteworthy is that the submission of the lists does not guarantee a move to the next step. The 30% threshold for women remains one of the biggest challenges the electoral body is set to deal with. Should clans fail to meet the quota which indications are clear with that of the Upper House, then the FIEIT will have send back as many lists for re-constitution, a development which could further herald the risk of polls delay.

The International Community warned Monday a failure by the regional administrations to reconstitute lists after failing the 30% requirement portend a risk to electoral delay. “The 48-hour deadline must be met to enable the respective federal member state assemblies to elect the members of the Upper House without prompting further delays in the overall electoral calendar,” the international partners said in a statement.

The FIEIT announced last month a one month delay after failing the September and October timelines for MPs and President respectively. Constitutionally, the President’s term ended September 10 while that of Parliament folded up August 19.