HirShabelle state to resume voting for Lower House representatives following temporary suspension of polls

A deadlock in an electoral dispute in HirShabelle state was resolved on Sunday, following the intervention of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia Michael Keating and the Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC) Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira.

SRSG Keating and Ambassador Madeira negotiated a settlement in a dispute between two clans, which had resulted in a temporary suspension of the electoral process in the state.

“We recognize that there would be political challenges, but we believe despite those challenges, having the rules respected will bring great benefits to a new state and will send a signal to the rest of Somalia and to the international community,” SRSG Keating said, shortly after meeting the State-level Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (SIEIT) and HirShabelle President Ali Abdullahi Osoble.

“Our message to the president and to the SIEIT and to everyone, is that the rules of the process as set down by the National Leadership Forum need to be respected including the quota for women, which means in HirShabelle 11 women will be elected to the Lower House,” SRSG Keating emphasized.

HirShabelle state has an allocation of 37 seats in the federal parliament’s House of the People.

HirShabelle President Ali Abdullahi acknowledged the importance of the special seats for women.

“We agreed to accelerate the electoral process, respect and consider the quota for women and how we could work together to support the administration of HirShabelle,” the President stated.

Ambassador Francisco Madeira pledged support to the newly formed state administration.
“AMISOM is here, we will support you in terms of security and we will support you politically,” Ambassador Madeira told HirShabelle President Ali Abdullahi.

“The chairperson of the AU greets the new President and expresses her admiration for the speed with which he is trying to adapt to the new reality and the determination with which he is trying to push forward all the decisions that were taken with regard to the elections,” SRCC Madeira added.

FIEIT will release new dates for resumption of elections in the state.

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