The events unfolding in the last few days, including the divisions among the stakeholders, ahead of the upcoming presidential election in Somalia’s South West State, have the potential to lead to violence. The United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) calls on all parties and stakeholders to work together to ensure that this Somali-owned electoral process proceeds in accordance with the established rules and avoids any behaviour which may lead to conflict or undermine the integrity of the electoral process.
“With this election being the first in a series to be held around the country – both at the regional level next year and national level in 2020 – there is a real need to set the precedent for credible and peaceful electoral processes,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Haysom. “I note that Somalia’s international partners had expressed similar hopes and concerns in November 2016 during the country’s federal parliamentary elections, when it called on all stakeholders to collaborate in ensuring a positive outcome.”
“I am confident that, in keeping with their tradition, Somali leaders will find a solution, through dialogue, to the issues surrounding this electoral process. An electoral process that is transparent, enjoys broad consensus on the rules governing its conduct, and is free from irregularities can only promote widespread acceptance of the results, and avoid violent confrontations at or after polling,” added Mr. Haysom, who also serves as UNSOM’s head.
The regional assembly of South West State is due to hold a presidential election on 17 November. Similar votes will take place in the Federal Member States of Puntland and Jubaland in 2019.