GOOBJOOG NEWS|SOMALIA: With barely a week before Senate elections kick-off according to the interim elections body (FIET) schedule, preparations at the regional level to conduct the exercise are still in low gear.
A spot check by Goobjoog News reveals that at least half of the regional governments are far from setting the ground for the elections. According to the revised schedule issued Friday by the Federal Indirect Elections Team (FIET), Senate elections will run from July 25-28.
From today until July 24, candidates will submit their names to their respective Federal Member State Presidents.
Both HirShabelle and Galmudug parliaments are in a recess with several MPs out of the country. HirShabelle speaker is currently in Turkey.
The long-running row between Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Guled and Senate speaker Abdi Hashi is another development to watch. The Somaliland caucus is yet to settle on a common leader for its electoral body (SIET) after the two sides picked chair and deputy separately last week.
Notable also with the Somaliland caucus is the composition of the 46 elders who will elect the Senators. Somaliland has 23 elders in the original 135 list of elders and will need another half picked from pro-union loyalists. That exercise which will likely be another point of contention between Hashi and Guled will jeopardise the realization of the electoral timelines.
A total of 413 regional MPs including the 46 elders for Somaliland will elect the 54 senators. The 54 member chamber comprises senators distributed among clans as follows: Dir (14), Digil and Mirifle (8), Darod (17), Hawiye (13) and minorities with two seats.
The elections will take place in all the FMS capitals while that of Somaliland will happen in Mogadishu.