The three day consultative conference in Mogadishu has today concluded with an agreement to establish the National Consultative Forum on the electoral process for 2016.
The conference which brought together the country’s leadership and international partners agreed to establish the Forum which will consist of representatives from the Federal Government, Regional States, Civil Society and international partners which will largely play an observer role.
In a communiqué this evening, the conference said the formation of the National Consultative Forum is in line with the provisions of the 2016 roadmap otherwise known as Vision 2016 and the policy guidelines agreed upon during the High Level Partnership Forum in July. The agreement is also in line with the call by the United Nations Security Council not to extend the term of the current administration after August 2016.
“Resolution 2232 (2015) from the United Nations is categorical that there will be no extension or delay of the 2016 elections. We also attach importance to the implementation of the decision of the government in the peace process towards the 2016 election,” read the communiqué in part.
The National Consultative Forum will be made up of 78 members comprising the following: the president, the prime minister and the four presidents of the regional states; Jubbaland, South West, Puntland and Galmudug. Middle Shabelle and Hiiran will contribute four members while Banadir has been allocated three slots.
Others include 20 Federal lawmakers, 10 Federal Ministers, 20 regional ministers, 12 representatives of civil society groups in the region and 5 from national civil society groups. The international partners, notably UN, USA, UK, EU, AU, IGAD, Sweden and Italy will play an observer role but will also be instrumental in mediating the process.
The Forum will convene on October 14 to work on an elections formula followed by a series of regional public consultations. The next meeting will be in January next year when the Forum will finally decide on the election process for members of Parliament.
UN Special envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay has lauded the agreement as a major milestone in achieving the goals and aspirations of the vision 2016.
“I welcome the agreement today to establish the National Consultative Forum on the electoral process for 2016,” said SRSG Kay. “The Forum will be critically important to Somalia’s peacebuilding and statebuilding efforts, and will lead to a political transition when the mandates of the Somali executive and legislature end next year,” Kay added.
Kay also expressed his confidence on the country’s leaders for coming together for national interests.
“I am especially delighted the progress has been achieved on International Peace Day. I salute the efforts of the Federal Government, Federal Parliament and the leaders of Puntland, Jubbaland, Galmudug and the South West Administration,” said Kay.
The fate of the conference hang in the balance on the second day after Puntland pulled out over insistence that it could not recognise Galmudug as a state and that sharing the same platform as equal partners was not in order.
However, sources told Goobjoog News mediation and pressure from international actors prevailed upon Puntland president Abdiweli Ali Gas to shelve his interests and attend the conference.