All actors must up their efforts to realise the 2020 vote- NIEC chief

NIEC chairperson Halima Ismail Ibrahim. File Photo: NIEC

The National Independent Electoral Commissions (NIEC) is tirelessly working to ensure Somalia realises one person one vote goal in the 2020 elections but enormous challenges lie ahead which require the input of stakeholders across the divide, the electoral body head Halima Ismail Ibrahim has said.

The electoral chief said though the process was still in its early stages, indications were clear that a universal vote is within reach in the next four years. She called for active participation of all actors to deliver this process which include parliament, the government, local and international actors.

“If we want to achieve elections in 2021, all those entitled with the responsibility for the elections to take place have to work hard and sacrifice from this hour. We know many countries with the same situation with us or worse but managed to hold elections,” said Ibrahim.

The chairperson said the success of the electoral process will depend on the coherent co-ordination among all government institutions. She further observed public confidence in the electoral process is critical and adherence to constitutional provisions is imperative to realising this end.

“If we abide by the constitution, we shall have less doubt coming from the public. As the electoral body, the process is like a circle that has start and end points which has a chain of activities that have to be implemented and at this juncture, if the concerned organs starting with the parliament and the executive does not largely get involved, then we shall have an enormous delay to hold elections in 2021 as required.”

The electoral body this week called on parliament to fast track the passage of at least eight pieces of legislations which will be key in facilitating the electoral process. Notable is the completion of the constitutional review process, electoral and citizenship laws, political parties laws among others.

Meanwhile the civil society has echoed the NIEC’s sentiments calling for inclusive participation by all actors and the citizenry. Association of civil society groups chairperson Abdullahi Mohamed Shirwa told Goobjoog News the civil society has a big role in the delivering the 2020 elections.

“It is not only the electoral body alone to do this issue but the parliament, federal and regional governments have to be sincere towards this end; start emergency talks to attain work scheme before the end of this year like the type of elections to be held and how it should be conducted to that we can have. Political parties have to be in the picture for the people to choose” said Shirwa.

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