Somalia increases female voters and candidates to beat 30% threshold for 2016 polls

At least 30% of the 14,025 delegates who will elect members of the Lower House must be female while 50% of candidates for the Upper House seats must be female, Somalia’s national leadership agreed Tuesday to meet the 30% threshold set in the Provisional Constitution 2012.

Following the conclusion of week-long deliberations which sought to iron out a number of contentious issues among them the 30% quota for women in the forthcoming elections, the National Leadership Forum also reduced fees payable to the electoral body for female candidates by 50%.

Initially, the required fee to the electoral body was $5000 for the Lower House while that of the Upper House was $10,000.

Each of the 275 members of the Lower House will be elected by 51 delegates drawn from the four major and minority clans.

To ensure the 30% quota becomes the more feasible, the NLF agreed that each of the four clans in Somalia will be required to produce 18 female members for the Lower House while the smaller clans grouped as 0.5 will be allotted 9 seats.

In accordance with the 4.5 clan based formula which was agreed upon for the election of the Lower House, the four clans, Darod, Dir, Hawiye and Digil/Mirifle each will get 18 slots. In addition to the 9 from the small clans, there will be a total of 81 female MPs in the Lower House, a seat shy away from the 82 mark which accounts for 30% of the 275 member chamber.

The elections of the Upper House will be conducted in the regional state parliaments. The NLF worked on the assumption Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions whose state formation process has dragged on for close to a year now will be in place by September. However, given the challenges the process has taken so far, disposing off the matter before the election of the Upper House starts September 25 this year remains a hard nut to crack for the Federal Government.



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