Electoral authorities launch five-year strategic plan in lead-up to Somalia’s ‘one-person, one-vote’ elections

Mogadishu, 11 December 2017 – Somalia’s electoral authorities today launched a five-year roadmap – known as the Strategic Plan – to guide the management and administration of the country’s 2020-2021 elections, also known as the ‘one-person, one-vote’ elections.

“The Strategic Plan will be the baseline for the ongoing work by the Commission and will provide the roadmap for the implementation of elections so as to attain ‘one-person, one-vote’ in 2020,” the Chairperson of the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), Halima Ismail Ibrahim, said at the launch event in the capital.

The Strategic Plan, developed with the support of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), will provide guidelines for all the activities to be undertaken by the Commission and will be subject to periodic review.

“The Plan lays out clearly how the NIEC intends to deliver its mandate over the coming years, leading to universal suffrage,” the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, Raisedon Zenenga, said at the launch.

The UNSOM official added that the UN was working closely with donors to finalize the programme for the next stage of the world body’s electoral support for the East African country. That programme is expected to focus on essential steps to be undertaken in 2018.

“The NIEC will travel in the near future to all the Federal Member States, where we will visit four main towns, [and] consult with all stakeholders, in order to achieve free and fair one-person-one-vote elections,” NIEC’s Chairperson added.

At today’s event, the NIEC also launched the ‘Somali Lexicon of Electoral Terminology,’ a glossary of terms in English, Somali and Arabic languages, which harmonizes the definition of 481 key electoral terms.

The Lexicon was developed to provide a common linguistic framework of electoral terminology, which will guide related activities, including the drafting of the electoral law and public outreach to voters, to ensure that every Somali citizen exercises their civic right to vote.

Speaking at the launch, the Federal Minister of Planning, Jamal Hassan, noted that the Strategic Plan was “derived from constitutional principles,” in line with the country’s National Development Plan and the Constitution, and commended the NIEC for both the roadmap and the glossary.