Somalia delays elections one more month

Mogadishu (AFP) – Troubled Somalia on Monday announced it was delaying its elections for one more month to October and November due to security issues and administrative problems.

Somalia’s internationally-backed government was supposed to hold national elections this year but instead scheduled a limited franchise election in which ordinary citizens do not participate.

The vote had been scheduled to be held in August, but the UN-sponsored election team delayed the presidential vote to October 30, following parliamentary elections from late September to October 10.

But Monday a statement from the Somalia Federal Indirect Electoral Team (FIET) announced a further delay, pushing the parliamentary election to between October 23 and November 10, with the president elected no later than November 30.

“Even though there are enormous developments achieved towards fulfilling the goals, there seems to be other tasks which could not be completed based on the current schedule,” the statement said.

“This is for reasons of political issues, security, managing budgets for the elections and the traditional elders who have failed to complete the list of the delegates so far.”

Under the indirect system, clan elders will select parliamentarians, while each of Somalia’s federal states will choose representatives to a new upper house. The two houses of parliament will then vote for a president.

The current president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has begun campaigning for a second term.

The election will not be the one-person, one-vote process that is promised in Somalia’s constitution. But it is viewed as paving the way for that, and is much more inclusive than the last vote in 2012, when only 135 clan chiefs participated.

Somalia sank into a devastating civil war in 1991 when warlords ousted president Mohamed Siad Barre, plunging the country into years of chaos.

The security situation remains troubled, largely due to the Shabaab, radical Islamists linked to Al-Qaeda.

The Shabaab, which was forced out of the capital Mogadishu five years ago, continues to launch attacks against government, military, civilian and foreign targets in its fight to overthrow the government.

The group is expected to try to violently disrupt the elections.

Source: AFP

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