Polling underway in Somalia as authorities seek to ensure fair voting


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Delegates queue outside the polling station in Baidoa, southwest Somalia and inside the polling station it’s a different atmosphere. Electoral commission officials hope to assure voters of a fair process – following allegations of corruption and voter intimidation in some regional states house speaker, Mohamed Osman Jawari is seeking reelection – hour’s later Jawari is declared winner – garnering a total of 45 votes – defeating his rival who only gained five votes

“It’s an election that is symbolic and a sign that democracy is slowly returning to Somalia. It used to be a decision by clan elders to pick their candidates. Two years from now, we want such kind of elections for lower and regional representations” said Mohamed Osman Jawari, Somali Parliament Speaker

In Kismayo, Maryan Aweis has also secured her parliamentary seat – in an election that has seen more female candidates than ever before

“I would like to thank the federal government as well as the regional state for ensuring this smooth process. I am grateful to have won my seat in parliament and am looking forward to representing my constituents” said Maryan Aweis , Newly Elected MP






In Puntland, a state in north eastern Somalia – 12 new male MPs were elected — a move that has raised eyebrows among the civil society and the United Nations

“Twelve individuals have been elected, all of them men. So one concern is whether Puntland will meet the quota for women, and I’m told it will do so. But the 8 seats minimum, maybe 10 seats minimum for women will be chosen from the next 25. But this is a big issue, and the second is that the process takes place on time and in conditions of safety.” said Michael Keating, UN Envoy to Somalia

A total of six member states are supposed to elect 275 lawmakers who will form Somalia’s next parliament – and its these new MPs who will eventually pick Somalia’s next president

However, its a race against time – presidential polls are due for end of November, and some states are yet to submit their candidates and others failing meet the criteria laid out by Somalia’s federal indirect electoral implementation team – but nevertheless – its an election experts hail as a major milestone towards restoring Somalia’s political future back to the hands of the Somali people

 

Source: CCTV Africa


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