Somalia Parliament rejects a call for delays in the election

Somalia’s parliament ruled out any proposals by the government to delay the forthcoming presidential election for two more months on Sunday (May 1), reiterating that elections would be held in August and September, as opposed to December as the proposed by the government.

The Parliament, responding to a proposal submitted by Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, on Sunday, said firmly that the election would go ahead as planned.  Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid had originally made the suggestion during a live program on Somali National TV on Friday (April 29) saying the government was in ongoing discussions with the Speaker of the Parliament, Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari. He said “It is true that I have raised extending parliamentary and government mandate for two months with the parliament speaker,” adding that “We are fully determined to holding elections in 2016.”

The Prime Minister expressed his optimism that the National Assembly would pass the National Election Bill without undue delay, saying “We hope to meet the timing deadline if parliament steps in for it very soon”, adding “anyways what matters is for us to catch up with election benchmarks without more time being lost.”

Last week, the UN envoy to Somalia Ambassador Michele Keating told the 15-member Security Council that the electoral process remains vulnerable to spoilers, and said he welcomed “the continued commitment by Somali leaders, in line with this Council’s expectations, that there will be no extension of constitutionally mandated term limits.”