The Federal Government of Somalia is deeply dismayed to see public statements made by some of its international partners and long-time friends that misconstrue the laws passed by government institutions to uphold the democratic rights of the people to choose their leadership, and instead paint them as unlawful term extensions.
The Somali people have longed for the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights and use the power of their voices to elect their leaders. While this administration expended significant efforts towards this goal, on Sept 17th, 2020, political leaders in Somalia agreed to suspend that process and hold indirect elections instead.
As all witnessed in the past nine months, two out of seven signatories to the 17 September 2020 agreement, namely the leaders of Jubbaland and Puntland administrations, acting under extreme pressure from foreign influences, attempted to stall and hijack the process by creating endless demands and calling for the dismantling of national government institutions.
The potential risks of losing the progress made so far prompted the House of the People of the Federal Parliament to debate and vote on 12 April 2021 to protect the country’s institutions. This decision was broadly supported by key political stakeholders in the country, including the Federal Government, the Banadir Regional Administration and three out of the five Federal Member States, namely Hirshabeele, Galmudug and Southwest State.
As stipulated in Article 47 of Somalia’s Provisional Constitution, the House of the People of the Federal Parliament of Somalia has the sole authority to enact special laws defining regulations concerning elections at the federal level.
Therefore, the law passed by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament on 12 April 2021 prescribing a one-person, one-vote electoral model be implemented in the country supersedes any prior arrangements reached, including the 17 September 2020 agreement. In essence, this law gives the country the opportunity to implement one of the options proposed by the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), which had previously put forward several implementable options, including a roadmap to complete the elections within 13 months.
While we appreciate the concerns of our friends and international partners for Somalia’s stability and security, it is regrettable to witness champions of democratic principles falling short of supporting the aspirations of the Somali people to exercise their democratic rights.
Inflammatory statements laden with threats, which undermine the political independence and sovereign rights of national institutions, will only serve to embolden terrorist organizations and anti-peace elements in Somalia.
The Federal Government of Somalia stands by the decisions made by the Federal Parliament and remain committed to implementing free and fair elections in the country within the stipulated timeframe. We urge our friends and allies to continue their constructive support for Somalia’s security and long-term stability.