Voting and Counting Workshop for Somali Youth Parliament
Upon the request of Somali Youth Parliament, UNDP’s Parliament Support Project in collaboration with the UNDP/UNSOM Elections Support Project conducted a two-day workshop on Voting and Counting for 20 participants (7 women and 13 men) from the Somali Youth Parliament (SYP).
The objective of the workshop was to introduce the participants with international standards, principles and management techniques that are fundamental to good electoral practice. The workshop aimed at ensuring that youth parliament members are familiar with the necessary election principles for the voting and counting processes in order to apply them in their upcoming SYP elections.
The United Nations recently facilitated the creation of a Youth Strategy for Somalia which aims at the creation of a mechanism for youth's participation in decision-making and political processes. In line with this strategy, UNDP Parliamentary Support Project funded by European Union, United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway has begun a cooperation with the Somali Youth Parliament (SYP). The SYP is a structure which mirrors that of the National Federal Parliament (NFP) consisting of 276 young people between the ages of 18 and 35 of which 50% are women. It was established in 2014 and has 15 parliamentary committees. Remarkably the SYP maintains a 50:50 gender quota. According to the SYP leadership, the selection of the youth MPs has been facilitated through the Student Unions of various universities in Mogadishu. Current members were selected in December 2014 and it is planned to hold the election of the new youth MPs in early July 2016 for a period of two years.
“It was a very useful and practical workshop, we learnt a lot, for example I understood the principles of elections including how to identify the voters and how to help them vote” said Dr. Sumaya, SYP Secretary General. With the knowledge and skills acquired from the workshop; the Youth Parliament will prepare for an efficient polling day in July.