UNSC calls on Somali parties to address political challenges amid latest election delay
New York ( UN News Centre + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Regretting an extension to the 2016 electoral process in Somalia announced by the country’s electoral body, the United Nations Security Council has called on all parties in the country to upload their commitments on the elections and to come to an agreement on the remaining political challenges without further delay.
“The members of the Security Council underlined that holding a peaceful, transparent and inclusive electoral process in 2016 will mark a historic step forward for all Somalis, and will be fundamental for the country’s continued progress towards democracy and stability,” said a press statement issued by the Council late yesterday.
“[They also] called for all parties to adhere to the implementation plan put in place by the FIEIT [Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team, the body responsible for the oversight and overall planning of the electoral process and for ensuring its uniformity], and to demonstrate the political will to ensure the revised timetable will be met,” the statement added.
In the statement, the members noted the African country’s progress since 2012 and underscored the importance of maintaining momentum towards democratic governance in Somalia, as well as underlined the need governance arrangements to be agreed by the Somali authorities in order to avoid an institutional vacuum.
The Council members also called on the relevant actors in Somalia to ensure that this period is not be used for political gain, and underscored the importance of adhering to the national political road map between now and 2020, in particular attaining “one-person, one-vote elections” by 2020.
The 15-member body further recalled the Government’s commitment to reserve 30 per cent of seats in the Upper and Lower Houses for women and urged all parties to take the necessary steps to ensure its implementation.
Further to the statement, Security Council members strongly condemned recent Al-Shabaab attacks and hailed the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army for their efforts in reducing the threat posed by the terrorist organization.
The statement follows the briefing to the Council earlier this week by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating, and the Special Representative of the African Union Chairperson on Somalia, Francisco Madeira on the situation in the country.