The United Nations Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, visited Somalia and held a series of meetings with the country’s leadership to show solidarity with the government and people of Somalia, as well as to reiterate the United Nations’ support to the new government and discuss ways to address the country’s challenges such as the recent drought and security.
The USG visited the NIEC Headquarters to discuss the 2020 electoral process and was welcomed by the Chairperson of the Commission Halima Ismail Ibrahim, who gave an account of the work and progress as well as the challenges of the Commission.
The NIEC Chairperson said they are committed to setting up an institution that is acceptable to all Somalis ahead of the next election. “We have been working on how to build the capacity of this institution and also how to gain the political acceptance from Somalis whether they are politicians or civil society or governments [federal and state governments],” Ms. Ibrahim said.
The NIEC Chair also said that the NIEC faces many challenges including the legal framework, which is not yet in place, budgetary issues and lack of proper equipment to gear up for holding Universal Elections. Other Commissioners also stressed on the need for financial and political support from the UN and the International Community.
“I sense a real forward momentum in terms of political developments, in terms of reforms and transparency and of things moving forward to one-person one-vote electoral system for the 2021 parliamentary elections,” the USG added. The UN official lauded the work undertaken by the NIEC in putting structures in place for the next parliamentary and presidential elections in 2020 and urged the leadership to move forward on the country’s constitutional review process.
The Commission also acknowledged the prioritization and support from the UN to help the Commission to fulfill its mandate.