Security Council Press Statement on Elections in Somalia
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve (Belgium):
The members of the Security Council noted the progress made in the preparations for the holding of national elections in late 2020 or early 2021 in Somalia, and welcomed the role of the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somali Federal Parliament and the National Independent Election Commission (NIEC) in this regard.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia.
The members of the Security Council reiterated its expectation that one–person-one-vote elections, which are peaceful, transparent, timely, credible and inclusive, allowing as many citizens to vote as possible, must be held by late 2020 or early 2021, in accordance with the Provisional Federal Constitution of Somalia. The members of the Security Council noted that any delay to elections could pose risks and that holding of timely elections is important for Somalia’s political stability.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the enactment of the Electoral Law but noted that essential issues need resolving. In this regard, the members of the Security Council called on the Somali Federal Parliament, in collaboration with NIEC and in consultation with the Federal Government of Somalia, Federal Member States, and other stakeholders, to take urgent action to clarify these issues to enable implementation of the Electoral Law, such as: the definition of constituencies; allocation of seats to constituencies; how the 30 per cent quota of seats for women, to which Somalia has committed, will be implemented; and management of seats for Benadir and Somaliland.
The members of the Security Council expressed regret that the NIEC is unable to operate freely in all Federal Member States. The members of the Security Council further encouraged the Somali authorities at all levels to create a conducive political and security climate for inclusive elections.
The Security Council emphasised the importance of full cooperation between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States, and expressed its concern that, in the absence of such cooperation, progress will stall on key national priorities, including: the implementation of the National Security Architecture; the delivery of the Somali-led Transition Plan; delivery of further financial reforms; the review of the Constitution; and implementation of timely elections. In this regard, the Security Council called for broad-based consultations and consensus-building between the Federal Government of Somalia and all Federal Member States. The members of the Security Council called on actors at all levels to refrain from increasing tensions and taking actions likely to make dialogue more difficult, including those against the letter or spirit of the Provisional Federal Constitution of Somalia.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their strong support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Somalia, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), commended their efforts to support the Somali authorities, the Somali Federal Parliament, and the NIEC in their preparations for elections due by late 2020 or early 2021, their efforts to support Somalia in ensuring security for the people of Somalia, and welcomed efforts to further deepen the relationship between the Federal Government of Somalia and the United Nations.
The members of the Security Council recognized that the coming weeks and months will be a crucial period for Somalia and noted they would continue to keep the situation under review and follow the implementation of elections closely. The members of the Security Council further underlined its support for peace, stability and development in Somalia.