Somalia: Govt Sets Election Dates, Doubles Candidates Fees

Vote counting in Somali Presidential Election (file photo).

Somalia has published its electoral calendar, setting the presidential election for next year.

The announcement on Thursday night followed an agreement between President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and the federal state leaders to retain the clan-based system of delegate voting in the elections.

The presidential election will now take place on February 8, 2021, preceded by parliamentary elections that will be held from December 1 to December 27 this year.

Members of Parliament in the Lower House, also known as the House of the People, will be elected through delegates nominated by clan elders in conjunction with the electoral body.

Voting for the MPs will take place from December 10 to 27, preceded by the election of members of the Upper House, the Senate, which will be held from December 1 to 10.

Senate contestants will pay $20,000 up from $10,000, while Lower House hopefuls will pay $10,000 up from $5,000 in registration fees.

The 275 legislators of the Lower House will be elected from the various Somalia regions. The National Consultative Forum (NCF) on Thursday agreed that Puntland would elect 37 members, Jubbaland 43, Southwest 69, Galmudug 37, and Hirshabelle 38.

The NCF comprises President Farmaajo and the presidents of the five federal states of Jubbaland, Galmudug, South West, Hirshabelle, and Puntland, as well as the Mayor of Mogadishu.

Election disputes

The leaders also agreed to form a 21-member dispute resolution committee to serve during the election period. The committee will be independent with nine members from the central government and 12 representing the federal states and will handle any electoral issues that may arise.

The committee is expected to safeguard the integrity of the election modality, the rights of the electorate and candidates, and ensure fair and just settlement of complaints from the electorate and from the candidates.

"The national conflict resolution committee, which will be formed prior to the election, will comprise of 21 members," reads the statement by Villa Somalia, the president's palace.

"The committee will ensure the 30 percent quota allocated for women in the legislative houses will be observed."

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