Mogadishu, 13 December 2017. The National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) have launched a 5-year Strategic Plan this week outlining a roadmap for achieving ‘one-person, one-vote’ universal elections in 2020-2021 in Somalia. The plan was launched alongside a common glossary of electoral terms, or Lexicon, to guide public outreach and as a framework for drafting electoral legislation. The Strategic Plan and Lexicon were developed with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) under the UN Integrated Electoral Support Group (IESG), funded by the European Union, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Strategic Plan includes steps for the drafting of electoral laws, as well as plans for voter registration, political party registration, civic education on electoral processes, and participation of women in the democratic process as both voters and electoral officials. The Lexicon or glossary of terms has been published in Somali, English and Arabic and aims to provide a common, easily accessible electoral terminology, that will serve as a basis to explain voter rights to Somali people and to allow government officials, members of parliament and electoral bodies to develop legal frameworks.
Ms. Halima Ibrahim, Chairperson of the NIEC, said the launch of two documents was an important step towards universal elections in Somalia and reiterated the NIEC’s commitment to conducting the election within the specified timeframe, highlighting public outreach as central to the process. “As we prepare for the upcoming elections, we will have consultations with the Somali people in all regions, starting with Mogadishu, to achieve a credible and fair one-person, one-vote election in Somalia”, she said.
The Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia (DSRSG), Mr. Raisedon Zenenga, said the UN was pleased to support the development of the two documents and will continue to offer ongoing support to the electoral process. “I would also like to recognize the work of the Electoral Task Force led by the Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, particularly its efforts to advance the electoral law, and to thank the donor partners that are contributing to our electoral support efforts, I hope that they will continue to do so in 2018,” he added.
Filip Warnants, Support to Elections Project, UNDP Somalia, E: email@example.com
Keelin FitzGerald, Communications Specialist, UNDP Somalia, E: firstname.lastname@example.org