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History of the Commission

Following several decades without nation-wide polls, Somalia’s newly created National Independent Elections Commission (NIEC) has begun building an institutional foundation to prepare for future elections. Nine commissioners, two of whom are women, were sworn in at Parliament on 22 July 2015 following a competitive recruitment process that began with the publication of advertisements in local newspapers.

Three hundred individuals submitted their applications to the Ministry of Interior, after which a shortlist with more than 20 names was submitted to the Council of Ministers. Of these, nine names were retained and forwarded to Parliament, which then ratified the appointments.

The Commission’s mandate was established by the February 2015 Law on the Establishment of the Electoral Commission, which states that the Commission is responsible for managing all future elections over the course of an electoral cycle. Prior to polling, the Commission is responsible for creating a voter register, registering and vetting election candidates, and carrying out the large-scale registration and polling logistical operations that involve the transport of thousands of tons of polling materials across the country. In addition, the Commission will determine where to put registration and polling stations, resolve election disputes, and declare election results.

It will also determine the duration of elections campaigns, regulations, procedures and guidelines governing the hiring thousands of staff, as well as creating the elections timetable and monitoring the activities of candidates and potential political parties. Finally, it will also tabulate, reconcile and announce results.