Welcoming today the announcement by Somalia of a timetable for the 2016 electoral process, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that process for the upcoming polls, which sets October for presidential elections, is an important milestone in the country’s journey towards democracy.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban welcomed the announcement by Somalia's Federal Indirect Elections Implementation Team (FIEIT) of a timetable for the 2016 electoral process.
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, has today been endorsed by Somalia's National Leadership Forum.
“The Secretary-General trusts that the agreed timetable will be adhered to, and urges all parties to refrain from any action that would cause further delay,” the statement continued, adding that the UN chief noted that the 2016 electoral process is an important milestone in Somalia's journey towards democracy.
In that regard, he further welcomed the National Leadership Forum’s commitment to ensure transition towards a multi-party system by 2018, ahead of elections in 2020.
“The Secretary-General emphasizes 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,” the statement said, adding that in this regard, Mr. Ban commended in particular 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 the country's progress towards inclusive political governance that will allow all Somalis to enjoy the benefits of peace, the statement concluded.