Somali electoral commission asks for delay of 2020 polls

The National Independent Electoral Commission has announced that it will not be able to conduct a one-man one-vote election in the country in time.

Commission Chair Halima Yarey proposed two solutions, both requiring the election be delayed. She said the country’s constitution requires a biometric voting system and to meet this requirement the commission needed 13 months, starting from July 2020 to August 2021.

If this is not possible, the commission proposed a second option, which would allow for same day manual registration, and this will require the election be delayed to March 2021.

Halima Yarey said the commission was facing challenges coming from regional states, financial shortages and an unreliable security situation.

The poll commission chief was addressing members of the Lower House of Parliament.

Reacting to her speech, the opposition Wadajir Party Leader Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame said the National Independent Electoral Commission should resign because it has failed to do its job.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Warsame said:

“We knew the commission’s speech will end in term extension. There is only one option open for the commission after failing to executes its duties, to resign instead of leading the country into chaos.”