Mogadishu (HAN) August 25.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. The 2016 electoral process will be held on time, according to the chairperson of the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) Omar Mohamed Abdulle who addressed a press conference in the Somali capital today.
Mr. Abdulle said the current deadlines for selecting members of parliament and the federal president in October of this year will be met. He also welcomed the establishment of six State-Level Indirect Electoral Implementation Teams (SIEITs).
He told journalists that an electoral dispute resolution body has also been set up to adjudicate complaints about the electoral process.
According to FIEIT members, the electoral process has entered its most critical stage as a list of 135 traditional elders is being finalized for selecting 14,025 members of the Electoral Colleges. These Electoral College delegates will in turn elect the 275 members of the lower house of the next federal parliament.
Flanked by five other FIEIT members, Mr. Abdulle refuted a recent media report that the FIEIT had decided to eliminate the Electoral Colleges and allow the 135 elders to directly vote on parliamentary candidates.
“The committee is implementing the set of rules given by the National Leadership Forum,” he said. “Everything is running according to plan.”
He reassured Somalis at home and abroad that the electoral process would be transparent and credible.
FIEIT member Abdullahi Salad Yarow said he and his colleagues were committed to delivering a transparent and credible process for all candidates participating in the electoral process.
“As FIEIT, we have the responsibility to be impartial and ensure the freedom of each candidate who is participating in the process. All the security, financial institutions and the media will remain neutral,” Mr. Yarow said.
Voting on candidates for the two houses of the country’s next federal parliament will take place between 24 September and 10 October, and the process will culminate in a vote by members of the new parliament on presidential candidates on 30 October.