Somali opposition alliance calls for resignation of poll body chief, members

The Forum for National Parties (FNP), an opposition alliance led by former presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has rejected yesterday’s remarks by the chairperson of the National Independent Electoral Commission, Halima Yarey, that a one person one vote election cannot be held by the end of the term of President Farmajo’s government.

In a report before parliament, the comission’s 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.

In a press statement released today, the FNP said the electoral comission has failed in its mandate to hold an eagerly awaited one person one vote election in time.

The statement said that the remarks of the commission chair was just aimed at realising term extension for the current government which the opposition alliance has warned against many times in the past.

The FNP called on the chair and members of the electoral poll to resign since they have lost the confidence of the people and accused them of being used by the leaders of the federal government.

The opposition alliance said any term extension will be unacceptable and called on all political stakeholders and the Somali people to reject any step towards extending the term of the current administration.

Meanwhile, former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, welcomed the decision by parliament to give 13 seats i the Upper House of Parliament to the Banadir region in which the capital, Mogadishu, is located.