As part of a broad programmed organized and implemented by Somalia’s independent electoral commission to consult with the Somali people on 2020 electoral process, Beledweyn hosted a delegation led by the deputy chairperson of the commission Mr. SaydAli Sheikh. The delegation met with the community leaders of Beledweyn town.
The meeting that took place in the afternoon of 31st December was attended by the traditional and religious leaders, politicians and youth. The meeting was opened by Mr. Ismail Yasin, director of operations and outreach who welcomed everyone to the meeting. Mr. Ismail also thanked the community leaders for their swift response to the commission’s invitation.
Mr. Sayid Ali, the deputy chairperson of the commission who was also the head of the delegation in Beledweyn introduced the electoral commission to the audience by explaining how it was formed, its members, hierarchy as well as its mandate which runs until 2021. He also explained in detail about the capacity of the commission to fulfill its obligations. Furthermore, Mr. SaydAli enlightened the importance of the consultation meetings for the future of Somalia and asked everyone to participate fully. Lastly, the deputy chairperson explained the day’s programme.
After finishing his remarks, the deputy chairperson was followed by Mr. Ismail, who made a brief presentation about elections and the Somalia’s currents state regarding the planned 2020 elections.
In the question and answer session, Mr. Ali Abdi Hassan who was one of the elders present asked about political parties. He warned that if unchecked political parties can become clans. He was followed by Mr. Guled Usman Abdalla, who started by praising the enthusiasm and the great courage showed by the commission. He however, asked if the commission had a plan B if one man one vote cannot be conducted in 2020. In answering the question about plan B, commissioner Said Hashi stressed that the commission does not think about plan B and firmly believe that elections will be possible by 2020.
Abdiaziz Sheikh, a religious leader thanked and praised the commission for their relentless efforts to consult with the people and their bravery in going to the regions which many people consider to be risky and insecure. He explained that elections are an Islamic phenomenon. He stated that the first Khalif, Abu-Bakr Al-Sadiq was elected. Therefore, the Somali people should not see elections as something un-Islamic he said.
After the oral Question & Answer and discussion was concluded, the participants were divided into groups and they were given questions to discuss and answer. Each group presented their answers and ideas to the audience.
The meeting was closed the speaker of Hiiraan regional administration and the deputy chairperson of the commission. In his closing speech, the speaker expressed his happiness on the arrival of the NIEC delegation in Beledweyn. To the people of Beledweyn, the speaker asked them to give their all in making possible that Somalia progresses from the 4.5 power sharing system and hold one man one vote elections in 2020.
Lastly, the deputy chairperson of the NIEC, Mr. SaydAli thanked the people of Beledweyn on how they received the delegation and their lively participation in the consultation meetings. He promised that he will forward the suggestions and ideas of the people of Beledweyn to country’s top leadership. The deputy chairperson handed over copies of the commission’s strategic plan to the speaker of the Hiiraan regional administration.