Mogadishu, 12 January, 2017 – The EU welcomes the election of the Leadership of the House of the People. It is an important step in Somalia’s political transition that will allow Somalia to soon conclude the indirect parliamentary electoral process that started in 2016. The newly elected parliamentarians will now, through their actions, have to earn the trust and confidence of the Somali people.
The EU Delegation and Member States recognise the progress made during this electoral process. In particular, the process has largely been peaceful in spite of the volatile security context, involved a far greater number of electors, and has taken place across Somalia. Though falling short of meeting the 30% political commitment, real progress has been made with regard to women’s representation. This now needs to translate into greater opportunity and voice for women and youth in Somali politics and society.
The electoral process was, however, marred by intimidation, corruption and manipulation by stakeholders, and with most of the mandated electoral and dispute resolution bodies not being able to fulfil their role as expected. Lessons must be learnt from this process to ensure the Somali people are allowed to fully embrace their democratic rights in the future. Not only should all Somalis have a chance to exercise these rights, but there should be no place for intimidation and manipulation, for corruption, impunity and violence. Somalia needs strong, independent institutions for this to become a reality.
The EU Delegation and Member States express the hope that, with the incoming political leadership of the country, the newly elected parliamentarians will now focus on the challenges at hand: consensus-building and reconciliation; providing governance, services and security to the people; building a credible and capable security sector and consolidating the constitutional basis that should underpin Somalia’s state-building project. The Federal Parliament is the guardian of the Constitution. We call upon the newly elected Parliamentarians to undertake this important task with integrity and foresight.
As EU, we will continue to support a Somalia that is committed to the promotion of fundamental values and principles, and to delivering a better future for its people.