International partners for Somalia have urged the elections be held within set timelines and in a transparent and peaceful way.
In a joint communique following a high level meeting for Somalia in the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly, the partners which include more than ten countries and international organisations said the upcoming polls was a turning point for Somalia.
“The international community highlights the importance of the upcoming electoral process, as a crucial stepping stone towards one person one vote elections in 2020. We reiterate the need to keep to the timeline and for a peaceful, credible and transparent process, in a climate of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the partners said.
The comments follow announcements by the Federal electoral body, FIEIT Wednesday indicating it may not be able to beat the set deadlines citing funding, security and finalization of the delegate’s lists as key obstacles. The FIEIT said it would meet Friday with the state level electoral body, SIEIT to review the electoral timelines. The election for the Lower House is slated for September 24.
The partners also called on Somali leaders to commit to the code of conduct which the National Leadership Forum leaders signed this month and noted all presidential and parliamentary candidates must sign.
The partners lauded the government’s completion of the National Development Plan observing the blueprint was a ‘testament to Somali resolve and commitment’.
“As the National Development Plan is finalised and implemented, we underline the need for prioritisation, engagement with the private sector, youth employment and the efficient allocation of resources to ensure successful delivery of results for the Somali people including finding durable solutions for internally displaced persons, refugees and returnees,” the statement read in part.
They further called for the sustained reform of the financial institutions to ensure access to predictable development finance through International Financial Institutions to achieve Somalia’s poverty reduction goals.