Fruitful Consultations on Draft Political Parties Law

 Participants attend a session during the three-day consultative workshop on the Somali political parties draft law held in Mogadishu on November 23 2015. Credit: UN Photo.

Participants attend a session during the three-day consultative workshop on the Somali political parties draft law held in Mogadishu on November 23 2015. Credit: UN Photo.

A three-day Consultative Process on Somalia’s Draft Political Parties Law concluded in Mogadishu on Monday 23 November 2015.

At least 200 delegates attended the consultative meeting. Participants included representatives of political parties, federal and regional administrations and the civil society.

“The draft legislation was compiled by experienced professionals and it has been circulated throughout the regions and civil society. The reason why we are further discussing on it today is to make sure all contentious issues are addressed. Your comments will inform the final draft of the bill which will be submitted to the cabinet and the legislature for further consideration,” announced the State Minister for Interior and Federalism, Mr. Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig.

The Minister explained that consultations on the draft law have been extensive, to ensure contentious phrases are fleshed out, amended or removed. The just ended consultations, was a culmination of wider efforts by the ministry of interior, to collect suggestions, ideas and opinions from diverse groups of people regarding the proposed new law. 

“We strongly believe this country to be a country led by political parties and I want to promise that your views will be considered,”emphazised Mr. Abdirahman Mohamed Hussein Odawaa, the Minister of Interior and Federal Affairs:

At a press conference held at the end of the conference, officials from the Ministry of Interior and Federalism fielded questions from journalists on the proposed new law.\“Participants at this meeting played an important role in making positive contributions regarding the completion of this draft legislation. Their views and proposals will be considered. The ministry will present this draft legislation to the Cabinet as soon as possible, before tabling it before parliament,” Yahye Ali Ibrahim, the Permanent Secretary for Interior and Federal Affairs said in a statement he read out to journalists at the press conference concluding the consultations.


With support from the EU, Italy, the UK, Norway, and Sweden, UNDP and UNSOM’s integrated UN electoral assistance team provides support and advisory guidance to the Federal Government of Somalia and the National Independent Electoral Commission on electoral processes and planning to support national state-building.

Building Blocks

Putting in place the building blocks to prepare for eventual elections was the goal of a four-day National Independent Election Commission (NIEC) team-building and planning retreat last week organized by the UNSOM-UNDP Integrated Electoral support Group. Members of the NIEC, which was established in July 2015, met in Nairobi to discuss the organization’s mandate and strategy, and to agree on priorities for the remainder of the year and for 2016. In addition, the Commissioners agreed on an Action Plan for the next 15 months, and to develop a commensurate budget to submit to Parliament and to share with international donor partners.

The NIEC agreed that its vision for the organization is “to build trust and confidence of the Somali people in the electoral process by establishing an election administration framework conducive to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.” As such, it placed a premium on developing the professional capacities necessary for transparent and accountable election administration. The NIEC also stated a commitment to engage with the authorities responsible for developing the electoral legal framework, including the electoral law, citizenship law and political party law, and to encourage finalization of these legislations. Technical issues such as assessing methodologies for voter registration, developing electoral dispute mechanisms and developing political party registration procedures were also prioritized. The identification of a permanent location for the NIEC's new headquarters was prioritized as important.

 From left to right, Gerald Mitchell (Director of the joint UNDP-UNSOM elections team) Halima Ismail Ibrahim (NIEC Chairperson), and Sayed Ali Sheikh Mohamed (Deputy Chairperson). Credit: UN Photo.

From left to right, Gerald Mitchell (Director of the joint UNDP-UNSOM elections team) Halima Ismail Ibrahim (NIEC Chairperson), and Sayed Ali Sheikh Mohamed (Deputy Chairperson). Credit: UN Photo.

The NIEC concluded the workshop by presenting in a press conference its plans to donor partners and electoral stakeholders.

“The Commissioners have been working consistently since their institution was established to create a solid foundation for future electoral activities,” said Gerald Mitchell, the Director of the UNSOM-UNDP Integrated Electoral Support Group. “The UN stands ready to assist the Commission with future technical support and capacity development, and several donors and other development partners have also expressed their willingness to offer their support to this common endeavor which is critical to future credible elections in Somalia.”
 

 

With support from the EU, Italy, the UK, Norway, and Sweden, UNDP and UNSOM’s integrated UN electoral assistance team provides support and advisory guidance to the Federal Government of Somalia and the National Independent Electoral Commission on electoral processes and planning to support national state-building.