Somalia’s new parliament could have its first sitting in early December, electoral oversight body announces

Omar Mohamed Abdulle, the Chairman of the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT), updates journalists on the progress of the ongoing electoral process. This was during a press conference in Mogadishu, Somalia on November 28, 2016. AMISOM Photo / Omar Abdisalan

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Somalia’s Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT), has made a reassurance that Somalia’s presidential elections will be held before the end of December.

“The exact dates of the presidential election are not known,” he said, preferring not to give a definite date to what will be the highlight of the 2016 electoral process.

FIEIT Chairperson Omar Mohamed Abdulle, told journalists at a media briefing this evening the election of the new president will take place on the attainment of 184 seats in the lower chamber of the federal parliament.

‘After the completion of issuing of certificates and the parliamentary seating begins, we will all know exact dates,” Mr. Abdulle clarified.

Somalia is currently short of attaining the 184 seats by just 6 members. However elections for the Lower House continue in four states, namely HirShabelle, Galmudug, Puntland and South West states. Jubbaland state concluded elections of Lower House members last week.

“The Quorum or the minimum number of members of parliament that will be able to sit and conduct business is 184. We have got 178 out of the 184 and the remaining 6 will be elected tomorrow,” Mar. Abdulla said.

“If that happens, Somalia will have a fully functioning parliament that can legislate, elect speakers and can also announce the exact dates for the speakers’ and presidential elections.”

Newly elected members of the Upper and Lower chambers of parliament will start collecting their certificates from FIEIT on 30 November 2016, according to the FIEIT chairman.

Answering questions on regions yet to hold elections, Mar. Abdulla said Canadair region, the seat of the capital Mogadishu, will begin elections on Wednesday this week. Banaadiri clan will be filling at least 3 out of the 5 seats allocated to it in the House of the People. Mogadishu will contest 7 seats.

The FIEIT did not give a specific date for the start of the Somaliland elections. However the FIEIT chairperson said delegates for 34 seats out the 46 seats allocated to Somaliland in the Lower House, had already arrived in Mogadishu.

FIEIT also announced it will hold a meeting with the Independent Electoral Dispute Resolution Mechanism (IEDRM) tomorrow (Tuesday), to flesh out the complaints regarding the seats that are in dispute.

“Tomorrow FIEIT and IERDM will hold a discussion about the fate of the few seats that are disputed and currently under investigation,” he said.

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