Somalia: UN Chief Calls for Political Consensus Ahead of Somalia Elections

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UN Special Representative James Swan underscored the need to forge political consensus to realize what he described as the "ambitious agenda for 2020".

"This will entail dialogue and compromise between the central government and Federal Member States; between the executive and legislature; between current office-holders and those now out of power; and between elite leaders and those community elders, civil society organizations, women's and youth groups who give voice to so many Somalis", he said.

"After more than a year without effective cooperation between the Central Government and key Federal Member States, this situation has become an obstacle to achieving important national priorities. Somalia's leaders must act urgently to break this stalemate between the Center and the Federal Member States in the interest of the nation."

Critical next steps

Mr. Swan, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), further highlighted the need for Parliament to pass the electoral code and adopt amendments to the political parties' law before the end of this year.

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"Any delay in this timeline puts the 2020 electoral calendar at risk," he warned.

UN partner the African Union (AU) praised "commendable steps" towards reconciliation, including a meeting between Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo and two of his predecessors held in the capital, Mogadishu, on Wednesday.

Francisco Caetano José Madeira, head of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), acknowledged that while critical next steps towards the election are needed, there has been progress in reviewing the electoral bill over the past three months.

"We also witnessed the recent positive steps in the appointment of the National Electoral Security Task Force, the development of the draft concept note on the security for voter registration, and the provisionally approved list of voter registration sites," said Mr. Caetano, who also is the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for

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