The Chairman of the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT), Mr. Omar Mohamed Abdulle, has expressed confidence in the electoral preparations of the southwest state.
The FIEIT chairman, accompanied by his team, spoke during an assessment mission to the southwest administrative town of Baidoa, on Sunday.
“The visit is part of a series of other visits, which we will make to Garowe, Adado and Jowhar in the coming days to take stock of how the preparations for the 2016 electoral process are going on and to decide when the elections will start,” Mr. Abdulle said.
The chairman and his team met with the State Level Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (SIEIT) headed by Mohamed Abdullahi Mursal.
“We discussed with SIEIT, among other issues, the preparation of delegations and the registration of candidates, both male and female. We also discussed the venue of the elections, which is actually big, conducive and suitable area for the elections, where multifarious activities are currently going on,” Abdulle explained. FIEIT inspected various sites, which will be used during the electoral process.
“We also inspected the polling centers, which are eight (8). We also visited the staff facilitating various electoral tasks. We also checked on the logistical issues such as the ballot boxes, voting papers and designated areas for voting,” the FIEIT chairman said. The team expressed satisfaction with the high level of preparations for the electoral process.
“We have checked whether the international observers and media have been accredited and their ID cards prepared. We found out that all is set for voting in southwest state. The SIEIT in Baidoa is currently engaged in formulating a timetable for the first delegates to vote,” Mr. Abdulle stated.
Mr. Abdulle also praised traditional elders for their critical role in the selection of delegates and in dispute resolution.
“The elders are ready to stand with us and resolve disputes until the last vote is cast,” he said.
State Level Electoral Indirect Implementation Team (SIEIT) Chairman for the southwest state Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Mursal expressed gratitude to FIEIT for making the assessment tour.
“We are all in agreement that everything is in place. We are very happy that the visit of FIEIT will fast track the preparations,” Mohamed Abdullahi Mursal, the southwest SIEIT chairman said.
On Saturday, FIEIT made a similar assessment mission to Kismaayo, which is the electoral center for Jubbaland administration. The team met with SIET and was briefed on the preparations for the Lower House electoral Process.
“We have witnessed that they are ready and the delegates who will vote for the 43 seats are all ready, ” the FIEIT chairperson Mr. Abdulle noted.
SIET deputy chairman for Jubbaland state Mohamud Hassan Elmi said the state was ready to start the parliamentary process “with immediate effect”.
Somalia’s 2016 electoral process will see the election of a Lower and Upper House of parliament, followed by the election of a Speaker and a new president.