Somalia sets date for elections of president, lawmakers

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Somali leaders have released the electoral calendar for the country’s elections following a two-day consultative talk on modalities in Mogadishu.

The country’s Prime Minister Mohamed Roble who met in Mogadishu with leaders from five federal member states including Mayor of Banadir Region on Tuesday resolved to conduct presidential elections on Oct. 10 while the election of the Upper House (Senate) legislators will be held on July 25.

According to the electoral calendar, the election of the lawmakers of the Lower House will take place from Aug.10 to Sept.10. The Somali leaders also agreed to reduce by 50 percent the registration fees for female candidates vying for parliamentary seats.

“The council, considering a request from Somali women, has reduced the fee for Somali women candidates for parliament by 50 percent,” the leaders said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.

The prime minister had invited the regional leaders for a meeting in Mogadishu to review the recently adopted electoral agreement to pave the way for elections.

The leaders agreed to begin training and election of the chairman of the electoral commission from June 30 to July 5 while preparations for polling stations will commence on July 23. According to the electoral calendar, selection and preparation of electoral delegates will start from July 15 to Aug. 10.

The leaders also fixed Sept. 20 as the date for swearing in of the lawmakers and election of the speakers of both Houses of Parliament.

Analysts say holding the 2020/21 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.

Failure to resolve the electoral impasse has plunged Somalia into a political crisis since President Mohamed Farmajo’s term officially ended on Feb. 8 while the four-year term of parliament ended on Dec. 27, 2020.

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