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Somalia: Elections will not take place on time, says electoral commission

Devdiscourse News Desk | Mogadishu | Updated: 29-06-2020 11:54 IST | Created: 29-06-2020 11:38 IST
Somalia: Elections will not take place on time, says electoral commission
File photo Image Credit: Twitter(@HalimaNIEC)

Somalia's electoral commission has announced that upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections will not take place on time, according to a news report by Voice of America.

The chairperson of the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), Halima Ismail Ibrahim has told the Lower House of the parliament that political differences, insecurity, flooding, and COVID-19 have hampered the commission's work schedule.

The parliamentary elections were scheduled for Nov. 27; the president's term ends on Feb. 8, 2021. Ibrahim says neither deadline can be met.

Ibrahim says the biometric registration necessary for holding the popular election as stated in the electoral law cannot be completed in time.

She has said that buying the registration equipment, securing registration sites, conducting public awareness, registering voters, issuing a list of voters, registering political parties and the candidates, among other tasks, need more time and budget.

More than 6 million Somalis are estimated to be eligible to vote which is half of the country's population, but the commission targeted registering fewer because of security and logistical constraints.

The commission has proposed the registration of up to 3 million voters biometrically, the creation of 5,000 polling stations, and vowed to hold the election in one day.

Ibrahim told the parliament that this process requires nearly 70 million dollars, which the NIEC does not yet have.

"Therefore, we would like to state before the parliament and the Somali people that elections based on the biometric system are not possible to be held according to the scheduled time of November 27, 2020, due to the reasons mentioned above," she said.


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