Somalia edges closer to first democratic election in half a century

Somalia is expected hold one man one vote elections this year despite several challenges facing the nation, UN envoy said.

Addressing the Security Council, James Swan, UN representative to Somalia said Somalia is on the edge to offer its citizens a chance to elect MPs and senators for the first time in 50 years.

Mr. Swan said the coming weeks will be decisive in determining how Somalia will proceed with its first direct elections since March 1969.

“In the coming weeks, a parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee will make recommendations to resolve outstanding electoral issues, while the head of the National Independent Electoral Commission will report on plans to conduct the vote within a constitutional timeframe,” he said.

Swan urged Somalia’s partners to be ready to mobilize the technical support and financial resources needed to make the landmark polls a success.

“These Somali institutions will determine the pathway to elections,” he said.

The last multiparty general election was held in Somalia on March 26, 1969 before a military junta of Siad Barre took over power on October 21 the same year.

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