Somalis at liberty on when elections take place-Amb. Yamamoto

The U.S will provide financial support for the upcoming elections but will not dictate when it should take place, the US ambassador Donald Yamamoto (pictured) has said.

Ambassador Yamamoto told journalists during a virtual presser Thursday Somalis are at liberty to decide when the polls take place but noted holding elections on time was critical.

“Election lies with the people of Somalia. If you want to decide to delay slightly, that is your decision,” ambassador Yamamoto said responding to a query on fears the ongoing COVID-19 might hamper preparations for the polls.

“What the US is going to do is to provide you the best advice and also the best support. Whatever you wanna do we will support you 100%,” ambassador Yamamoto said noting the US had already set aside funds for the exercise.

“We have money already committed now; about $6 million to run the election. We’re holding back about $4 million because we want to make sure that whatever we do it meets with the needs of the people of Somalia.”

Somalia is set to hold parliamentary elections expected to be on a one person one vote basis October this year with a new president to be elected early 2021.

Ambassador Yamamoto noted though it was critical to hold the elections on time, it was equally necessary to meet the requirements set in the constitution and agreed through political processes. These include ensuring a 30% quota for women and building the capacity of the electoral commission to effectively conduct the poll.

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