MOGADISHU, Somalia – The United Nations special envoy for Somalia, James Swan has called on Jubaland Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to register concerns about ensuring all potential candidates.
Read the UN’s envoy email to Jubbaland electoral commission
Lam writing to you on behalf of the following group of Somalia’s regional and international partners, who are following closely the electoral process: in Jubsland: the African Union Mission in Somalia AMISOM), Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the European Union (EL), France, Germany, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM),
We believe that it is of vital importance that this process should preserve the stability and unity of Jubaland, should be fair and transparent, and should take place without violence. We continue to reiterate tall concerned that the election must be without interference or intimidation and should be conducted according to the Jubaland Constitution and consistent ‘with the federal Provisional Constitution.
We welcome the publication by the Jubaland Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) of the list of elders; the eligibility criteria for Presidential candidates: and the procedure and eligibility criteria for the nomination and election of members of the State Assembly.
We also welcome the Commission’s assurances that any Somali and international observers who wish to do so will be permitted to monitor the electoral process, that the requirement in the Jubaland Constitution on women’s representation in the State Assembly will be respected, and that the Presidential election will be conducted through a secret ballot. We look forward to an early announcement by the JIEBC of the process for accrediting observers,
In addition, we welcome recent discussions between the Jubaland Administration and AMISOM aimed at identifying security arrangements, We hope that these will reach an early conclusion that is acceptable to all.
At the same, we want to register our concern over two issues in the electoral process that remain unresolved. First, how will the JIEBC ensure that all potential candidates with a reasonable case to stand for the Presidency are able to do so? And, second, while we understand that the JIEBC intends to work with the Committee of Elders to select on the State Assemblymember from each list of three, we would appreciate further clarity on this approach. How will this be done in a way that is neutral, objective and does not give rise to claims of political bias?
We, therefore, encourage the JIEBC and the Jubaland Administration to take further measures to strengthen the transparency, inclusiveness, fairness, and credibility of the process, In particular, we recommend that the JIEBC apply criteria for sanding as a Presidential candidate that permit a wide range of qualified political figures from Jubaland to compete, We would also request further clarity about the basis on which the JIERC proposes to select a single member of the State Assembly from each list of three nominated by the elders, whether the JIEBC intends to publish reasons for its choice and whether observers will be allowed to be present during its deliberations. In view of the concerns expressed by some traditional elders on the composition of the published list of elders, we would as well encourage the JIEBC to consult further with communities to ensure confidence in the final list.
We are grateful for your continued efforts to ensure a fair and transparent election. For our part, we will continue to reiterate to all stakeholders the need for single agreed process according to the Jubaland Constitution and consistent with the federal Provisional Constitution, and the need to avoid interference or intimidation of any kind.