Somalia's Elections: Transitioning Towards Representative Politics
Michael Keating, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia; Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM)
Chair: Kevin Steeves, Head of Director’s Office, Chatham House
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The electoral landscape in Somalia remains fraught, with insecurity and al-Shabaab continuing to threaten prospects for stability and development.
Due to a two-month delay, the presidential vote will now be on October 30, after parliamentary elections from late September. But despite international support and pressure, there is little guarantee that the revised schedule will be met.
The federal government sees the 2016 elections as a stepping stone towards greater inclusion and democracy, aiming for one person one vote elections in 2020.
MPs in the lower house of parliament will be voted for by an extended number of delegates representing Somalia’s clans, while regional states will select the members of a newly formed upper house.
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud will be among several candidates contesting the presidency, with opponents criticising the incumbent and the national leadership forum of narrowing the electoral process in their favour.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating, will discuss the political and security context ahead of the elections and UNSOM’s coordinating role.