Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo speaks after winning the vote in Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb. 8, 2017. Former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was elected new president of Somalia in a tightly contested polls held in Mogadishu on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Pan Siwei)

Somali President Mohamed Farmajo had signed the Elections Bill into law, paving the way for the universal suffrage polls which are expected to take place in early 2021.

Farmajo lauded the Somali experts, who formulated the bill, and lawmakers for the fruitful debates, that began with the Baidoa agreement in June 2018, in a transparent process, which shows the government’s commitment to enacting a law that reflects the aspirations of the Somali people.

“Power has today been restored and now in the hands of Somali people. Both Lower and Upper House endorsed the bill (Elections Act) and I am signing it at this ceremony in order for you to elect the party and individual you want,” he said in a statement issued on Friday.

Analysts say the holding of the 2020 universal 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.

The election is also considered crucial because it would entrench political inclusivity, which is part of Somalia’s roadmap to democracy.

According to the UN, Somalia last held one-person, one-vote elections in March 1969 when the government was overthrown in a military coup.

Parliamentary and presidential elections took place in late 2016 and early 2017 through a system of indirect suffrage. Enditem

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