UN: UN chief welcomes election timetable in Somalia

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday welcomed the announcement by Somali electoral authorities of a timetable for the 2016 electoral process, noting that the process for the upcoming polls, which sets October for presidential elections, is an important milestone in the country’s journey towards democracy.

In a UN statement, obtained by PANA in New York, Ban commended the announcement by Somalia's Federal Indirect Elections Implementation Team (FIEIT) for releasing the timetable.

According to the  statement, this decision, which sets out the process to choose a new federal Parliament between 24 September and 10 October and President by 30 October, was endorsed on Tuesday by Somalia's National Leadership Forum (NLF).

The UN chief expressed the hope that the agreed timetable will be adhered to, and urged all parties to refrain from any action that would cause further delay.

He also welcomed the National Leadership Forum’s commitment to ensure transition towards a multi-party system by 2018, ahead of elections in 2020.

He emphasized the importance of Somalia's 2016 electoral process being conducted in a transparent, credible and inclusive manner, and in a climate of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and lauded the renewed commitment of the NLF to ensure that one-third of parliamentary seats are set aside for female candidates.

"This is an important signal of Somalia's progress towards inclusive political governance that will allow all Somalis to enjoy the benefits of peace," Ban concluded.

PANA recalled that the UN Security Council had in May also welcomed the political and security progress in Somalia during a mission to the capital, Mogadishu, where representatives of the Security Council met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, regional leaders, Somali civil society and women's groups.

The Council also commended the Somali government's commitment to reserve 30 per cent of seats in the upper and lower houses for women and emphasised the need to adhere to the political road map to 2020, in particular to reach one-person, one-vote elections by 2020.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 10Aug2016

10 august 2016 15:15:36

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