East African bloc urges Somalia to hold elections without delay

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Somalia flag
Somalia flag

The East African bloc on Sunday called on Somalia to hold elections of the country’s Lower House without further delay.

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu also lauded the Somali leaders and stakeholders for the successful completion of the election of the Upper House of Parliament.

Gebeyehu encouraged all stakeholders to maintain the same spirit and ensure the election of the Lower House is also concluded without further delay.

“The conclusion of the Somali electoral process will afford the Somali people the opportunity to focus on state-building, peacebuilding, economic development and stability,” the bloc said in a statement.

The statement comes after Somalia’s electoral body announced that the elections of lawmakers of the country’s Lower House of Parliament will begin on November 16.

The Federal Elections Implementation Team in a revised timetable released on November 11 set the deadline for the long-delayed elections of the House of the People for December 24.

The first two lawmakers for the next 275-member Lower House of Parliament were elected in the Somali capital, Mogadishu in early November.

The 54-member Senate and the 275 members of parliament from the Lower House are now expected to jointly elect a new president in early 2022.

Analysts say holding the 2021/22 vote is considered critical for the sake of entrenching the federal system of governance, which is required to appease communities and regions claiming systematic exclusion and marginalization for decades. Enditem

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