Somali electoral body warns of cash crunch signalling poll delays

Elections for the Lower House scheduled for Saturday may be delayed as the Federal and State poll bodies meet Friday to hammer out the final details of the elections amid concerns of financial deficits.

In a statement Thursday, the Federal Indirect Elections Implementation Team, FIEIT said it had not finished some tasks set out in its work plan owing to what it said are financial challenges and failure by elders to finish up the lists of delegates.

The poll body added that security and political concerns remain major challenges necessitating the Friday meeting as the 22 member team burns the midnight oil to deliver results in what is Somalia’s most inclusive post conflict polls so far.

“To move forward and overcome these challenges, the FIEIT will meet with the chairpersons of the state level electoral implementation teams in Mogadishu Friday,” the team said.

The Omar Abdulle led team also warned the elders, who are responsible for appointing delegates for the Lower House were yet to submit the final lists. Each member of the House of the People (Lower House) will be elected by 51 delegates who are distributed among the various clans under the 4.5 clan based system.

It is not however clear if the funds shortage emanates from the Federal Government’s purse or that of the international community. The International Community is expected to foot 60% of the expenditure while Somalia is to clear the rest.

The National Leadership Forum last week raised concerns over the funding issue, a development which could further stock fears about a possible electoral delays.

“In their meeting on 6th September 2016, Members of the Forum expressed concern over the funding for the budget of the implementation of the indirect elections of the National Legislative Assemblies,” said an NLF communique on September 14.

The NLF however noted Federal Government had reviewed the 2016 budget to include a specially sub head to offset the poll costs.

The international community announced this past week the funding for the electoral process will be administered through a mechanisms set up under the auspices of the United Nations.


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