Somalia’s lower house elections due next week
Elections of members of the Lower House will start next week, Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble said.
According to the Prime Minister, the northwestern region of Somaliland is expected to elect 46 lawmakers, as agreed with leaders of Somaliland political groups in Mogadishu – Abdi Hashi Abdullahi, the Speaker of the outgoing Upper House (Senate), and Mahdi Mohamed Guled, the Deputy Prime Minister.
Once the indirect election of Somalia’s 275 legislators is completed, they are expected to pick a president in a joint session with the 54 members of the Senate.
The presidential poll had been scheduled for October 10, but the election of senators was inconclusive, as 48 senators were elected and six seats remain unfilled – 4 for Jubbaland state and 2 for Galmudug.
Although elections to the Lower House (House of the People) have been delayed several times, security has now been beefed up for the polls in all the constituencies.
Personnel from the Somali police force and the police division of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) have been deployed in several towns including Beletweyne, Barawe and Dusamareb to maintain peace.
PM Roble exuded confidence that a parliament will be in place to take over the basic functions of government.
“I want to witness a new legislative body rapidly formed while I emerge clean in an election that is free from clashes,” he said.
The United States recently urged Somali leaders to accelerate the elections to save the Horn of Africa country from political mayhem.
Over the past two months, the elections were delayed largely as a result of squabbles between President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and PM Roble.
Somalia’s foreign minister, Abdirizak Mohamed, on a visit to the US, met with the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs , Mary Catherine Phee, and they agreed that the elections should be held within an acceptable timeline.