The new date for Somalia’s Presidential election is December 28

Somalia's National Leadership Forum has agreed to December 28 as the new date for the election of a president by Parliament. The Forum held another meeting on Wednesday and Thursday this week (December 7-8) before issuing a statement on Thursday evening that they expected the new parliament to elect a speaker on December 22, and then to elect the president on December 28. The meeting, which was also attended by Somalia's international partners, underlined the importance of holding the presidential elections before the end of the year. Speaking at the Forum, on Wednesday, President Mohamud said his administration was still committed to see the elections concluded during December, and he called on the regional states to complete the process in time. The meeting was also trying to find a solution to Puntland's concerns over the distribution of the northern regions' Upper House seats, for the areas of Sool, Sanaag and Buhodle, disputed by Somaliland and Puntland.

Puntland's Vice President, Abdihakim Abdulahi Haji Omar, and Puntland Parliament Speaker, Ahmed Ali Hashi, travelled to Mogadishu at the beginning of the week to hold talks with the National Leadership Forum and government leaders over the representation of the clans from the disputed regions of Sool, Sanag and Buhodle. The Federal Interim Election Implementation Team announced last week that the elections for both the Upper and Lower Houses for clans hailing from Somaliland region would take place in the capital Mogadishu. Puntland wants the elections for the disputed regions to take place in Garowe, the Puntland capital. .

Lower House elections continued this week in Mogadishu for clans representing Somaliland and in Adado town, the interim capital of Galmudug state where three MPs were elected on Tuesday. There had been delays in the Somaliland elections after disputes and alleged harassment of Somaliland delegates. By Thursday, six MPs had been elected to the House of the People. A total of 46 seats have been allocated for all the sub-clans in Somaliland for Lower House representation. It has 11 seats in the Upper House. Lower House elections are based on the 4.5 clans system while senatorial elections are distributed through the federal member state system.

The Government in Somaliland itself, reiterated on Sunday that it was not party to the elections in Somalia. Somaliland Information Minister, Osman Abdullahi Sahardid,  told reporters in the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa, that Somaliland was pursuing its independence and was therefore not party to the elections. Sahardid said Somaliland did not recognize those who are participating in Somalia's parliamentary elections on behalf of the region. They had, he said, betrayed Somaliland's quest for independence: "We do not have anyone representing us in the government of Somalia. Those who purport to do so are job seekers advancing personal interests."

At the beginning of the week, South West State became the second federal state after Jubaland to complete elections for the House of the People. Jubaland completed the elections at the end of last month, providing 43 MPs for the House of the People. The last day of the voting in South West saw the re-election of two former members of parliament, bringing the number of those elected to the House of the People to 69. Speaking after the conclusion of the process, State Indirect Electoral Implementation Team Chairman, Mohamed Abdullahi Mursal, commended all those who had made the exercise in South West State successful. He said: "This was a very long journey; we have successfully concluded the elections for South West today, ending with the last seat of 69. We were very pleased about the manner in which this election occurred since it was the first election of this type to happen in Somalia."

South West State elections involved all the five major clans of Somalia. It was the federal state with the highest number of seats allocated for the next federal parliament, a total of 69. The United Nations and AMISOM were at the forefront in ensuring that the electoral process there was successful, and Mr. Mursal thanked the "United Nations, AMISOM and all the partners who offered their unrelenting support during the electoral process." South West, however, failed to achieve the 30% quota for women, electing only 14 rather than the 23 required by the quota.

At a press conference in Garowe this week, the Puntland State Indirect Electoral Implementation team (SIEIT) announced that the Puntland Lower House elections will resume next week. The announcement followed the lifting of the suspension on the parliamentary elections over the dispute for seats for clans from Sool, east Sanag and Buhodle regions. The suspension was lifted by the Puntland President after talks with Federal Prime Minister Omar Sharmarke and representatives from the international community. Puntland has elected 22 MPs out of the 37 it has been allocated and the SIEIT has called for the candidates competing for the remaining 15 seats, and the delegates who will choose the MPS, to register quickly. 4 of these seats will be reserved for women candidates.

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