International Community welcomes Mogadishu Declaration on 2016 Electoral Process

NCF

Participants of the National Consultative Forum in Mogadishu. Credit: UN Photo/T. Jones

Mogadishu, 17 December 2015 – The United Nations, the African Union, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Italy welcomed the Mogadishu Declaration issued yesterday at the end of the second plenary of the National Consultative Forum on next year’s electoral process in Somalia.

The Mogadishu Declaration establishes seven key principles and actions that must be upheld and completed by the time a ceremony is held in the port city of Kismaayo on 10 January 2016, which will unveil the precise details of a final electoral model and the plan for implementing that model.

“Over the past two months, we have seen a very significant process and a major leap for Somalia towards participatory politics and full democracy.  Thousands of Somalis had a say on the electoral process for 2016.  That this process has been conducted and successfully concluded is a major achievement,” said SRSG Kay.  “Somalis and their leaders have across the whole country agreed key principles that I warmly welcome:  the firm commitment that there should be a political transition at the end of the constitutional term limits of the legislature and executive, an electoral process that will bring voting closer to the people – with electoral colleges in each of the existing and emerging Federal member states – and which will allow a far greater number of people than in recent decades a say on the choice of their representatives.  There will also be an actual electoral choice, and women and youth shall be far better represented than has been the case so far, both among the electors and among the people’s representatives."

According to the Mogadishu Declaration, representation in the country’s next federal parliament will be based on a balance between constituencies and clan affiliation. The communiqué agrees the need for a political roadmap that will cover the period between now and the implementation of the electoral process in 2016 as well as the period between next year and 2020 when universal suffrage elections are to be held across the country. These roadmaps should be a part of the final electoral model to be agreed on 10 January.   

In addition, the Declaration stipulates that the representation of women in the legislative branch shall be increased by guaranteeing them a minimum number of reserved seats in both the upper and lower houses of the federal parliament and ensure a full role for Somali women and youth in the electoral caucuses that will be held in each of the country’s federal member states and also as candidates for public office.

SRSG Kay also stressed the need to adhere strictly to the Mogadishu Declaration and reach a final agreement on the details of the electoral model by the January deadline. 

SRSG Kay said “While this signifies progress towards an appropriate and inclusive electoral process, it would have been preferable to have agreed and presented a final, detailed electoral model today.  I urge all stakeholders to remain focused on the work that still needs to be done in order to complete the task at hand.”

“Above all, I urge all Somalis to respect and implement the principles and actions outlined in the Mogadishu Declaration,” said SRSG Kay.  “It is important that all actors fully support the Declaration and that there are no adverse actions that could undermine this important agreement or block progress towards the ultimate goal of one-person one-vote elections.  The United Nations stands ready to continue to lend its support to this process, and it will work closely with Somali stakeholders and other international partners to ensure that a successful, inclusive and transparent electoral process will be conducted in 2016."