Somalia 2016 Election Timeline: Events & Agreements

 Editor’s Note: This page aims to provide a chronological background for  major events and agreements in the lead-up to the 2016 national parliamentary and presidential election in the Federal Republic of Somalia. This page shall be continually updated under the website’s 2016 Election section. Send comments or suggestions to: 

Mogadishu, February 6, 2015 – First meeting of the subsequently-named National Leadership Forum (NLF) held in Mogadishu at the invitation of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS). At the time, the NLF consisted of Federal President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmake, Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali ‘Gaas’, Jubaland President Ahmed ‘Madobe’ Mohamed Islam, and Interim Southwest Administration (ISWA) President Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden.

Principles agreed (but not always implemented) included:

  • Continuation of national leadership meetings;

  • Sharing of international assistance between the FGS and the Federal Member States (FMS), including the New Deal;

  • To complete formation of the remanning Federal Member States

  • To establish the constitutionally mandated National Security Commission.

Garowe, May 2, 2015 – The NLF leaders met in the Puntland state capital Garowe in a second round of meetings. Principles agreed included:

  • To hold timely elections in accordance with Vision 2016;

  • To integrate the Somali National Army, including 3,000 Puntland soldiers;

  • To establish better cooperation between FGS and the Federal Member States in security and counter-terrorism efforts;

  • To formulate laws on governing natural resources, to exploit and share the country’s natural resources, and to form a federal-state committee tasked with proposing a temporary agreement to this effect;

  • To share New Deal international assistance;

  • For the FGS to complete the process of forming new Federal Member States.

Mogadishu, September 21, 2015 – Interim Galmudug Administration (IGA) President Abdikarim Hussein joined the third NLF meeting in Mogadishu. The principles agreed included:

  • The National Leadership Forum was formally inaugurated to this meeting;

  • The Forum agreed that “the current circumstances do not allow for one-person one-vote elections and that in their absence, an indirect election should be held”;

  • The Forum agreed to hold a National Consultative Forum in December 2016 and agree on choosing the ideal electoral process for 2016 elections.

Mogadishu, October 20, 2015 – In addition to the Federal and State leaders, the NLF meeting included Federal MPs, governors of Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions (which have yet to form a Federal Member State), Governor of Banadir region, civil society representatives, and international representatives. The principles agreed included:

  • President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s “commitment to ensure a transparent and inclusive consultative process leading to an electoral process in 2016, without any extension of the mandates of the Somali legislative and executive”;

  • The Forum agreed that “the current circumstances do not allow for one-person one-vote elections and that in their absence, an indirect election should be held”.

  • The Forum also agreed to hold consultations with a “wider cross-section of Somali society” regarding the electoral process.

Mogadishu, December 16, 2015 – NLF leaders sign the “Mogadishu Declaration”. The leaders noted “public consultations held across Somalia” and issued the Declaration, which included the following principles:

  • Parliamentary representation “based on balance between the constituency and clan”;

  • “Electoral colleges will convene and vote in the Federal Member State capitals”;

  • A “political roadmap” was to be agreed between now and the 2016 election; and the 2016-2020 period to deliver universal suffrage.

Kismayo, January 16, 2016 – The NLF leaders met again in the southern port city fo Kismayo and interim capital of Jubaland state. The communiqué did not detail any specific agreements reached, but noted general principles including:

  • “Notable steps taken on the negotiations so far”;

  • The NLF “deliberated in length on the possible options” for 2016 election.

Mogadishu, January 27, 2016 –  The NLF leaders signed the Electoral Model agreement, although the Puntland delegation walked out. The agreement principles included:

  • A 275-member Lower House of Federal Parliament based on 4.5 formula;

  • A 54-member Upper Houes of Federal Parliament divided among the states: 11 seats for Somaliland and Puntland each; 8 seats for Jubaland, Southwest, Galmudug and Hiiraan/Middle Shabelle future state;

  • 30% minimum quotas established for women MPs in both Houses of Federal Parliament;

  • Upper House MPs would be elected by regional parliament MPs in their respective Federal Member States;

  • “Voting and counting” for Lower House MPs takes place in Federal Member State capitals.

Garowe, April 4, 2016 – A new agreement was signed between Federal Prime Minister Sharmake and Puntland President Gaas. The principles agreed included:

  • That the 4.5 formula cannot be used beyond the 2016 election;

  • That Federal MPs from Puntland would be based on “clans party to the formation of Puntland in 1998”;

  • That Upper House MPs representing Puntland would be proposed by the State’s executive branch;

  • That “electoral colleges shall be selected by the traditional elders”.

Mogadishu, April 12, 2016 – The NLF met in Mogadishu to finalize the electoral agreement. The principles agreed included:

  • Upper House election shall precede the Lower House election;

  • State presidents shall nominate at least two candidates for each Upper House seat;

  • State parliaments shall vote for each Upper House seat;

  • 135 Traditional Elders shall select the Electoral Colleges in respective Federal Member States;

  • Electoral Colleges of 50 members each shall vote for each seat of the 275-member Lower House of Federal Parliament (275 x 50 = 13,750 voters);

  • All voting takes place in Federal Member State capitals or interim capitals.

Mogadishu, June 4, 2016 – NLF met in Mogadishu and issued a new communiqué. The agreed principles included:

  • Welcomed President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s signature of the April 12th final agreement on the 2016 electoral process;

  • Increasing electoral college membership from 50 to 51 voters;

  • Finalizing the list of 135 Traditional Elders to nominate electoral colleges;

  • Agreed on the National Security Policy and forming the Commission;

  • Detailing plans to establish Federal Election Implementation Committee (FEIT), State Election Implementation Committees (SEITs), and Conflict Resolution Committees;

  • Holding another meeting in Baidoa to finalize outstanding matters.

Mogadishu, June 17, 2016 – Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud unilaterally nominates 22-member Federal Election Implementation Team (FEIT). The President’s list included:

  • Members of the Federal Council of Ministers;

  • Members of the Presidential Staff;

  • Civil society representatives;

  • Members of state Council of Ministers and State Parliaments from the Federal Member States.

Baidoa, June 25, 2016 – The NLF meeting was held in Baidoa for the first time. The principles agreed included:

  • A budget and schedule for electoral events leading to August elections;

  • A 19-member committee to advise on representation for Mogadishu and Banadir region was nominated, including federal and state representatives;

  • Committement to women’s political participation (minimum 30% quota for Upper House and Lower House of Federal Parliament).

Mogadishu, August 9, 2016 – At the NLF meeting in Mogadishu, the principles agreed included:

  • Upper House expanded to 58 MPs;

  • 21 voters will election each Upper House seat.

Source: Somali Review