Upper house

US calls on Somalia to end elections

The United States on Sunday called on Somalia to complete its elections after passing last week’s deadline to complete them with less than 10 percent of Somali parliamentarians elected to the lower house.

“The United States is deeply concerned about the continuing delays and procedural irregularities which have undermined the credibility of the process,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

“It is imperative that the leaders of Somalia’s national and federal member states swiftly conclude credible, transparent and inclusive parliamentary and presidential elections and address concerns in an open and acceptable manner.

Although the deadline for Somalia to complete its parliamentary elections was December 24, only 24 of the 275 lower house parliamentarians have been elected so far. The elections began on November 1.

Price also reiterated US support for a Somali National Advisory Council which is due to meet later this week to address long electoral delays.

“The United States remains committed to supporting peace and stability in Somalia and will use the tools available to achieve these goals,” said Mr. Price.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble have exchanged blame in statements accusing the other of eroding the integrity of the elections.

Mr. Mohamed had previously sought to extend his term by two years and the elections had already been delayed by more than a year.

This led to clashes between competing factions of Somali security forces across Mogadishu in April, causing more than 60,000 people to flee.

The clashes ended when Mr. Mohamed agreed to hand over the responsibility of organizing the elections to Mr. Roble.

Elections are indirect, with clan delegates selecting the 275 parliamentarians. The five Somali state legislatures elect the 54 members of the upper house.

Once all parliamentarians have been selected, the two chambers vote for the next president to lead the country.

Updated: December 26, 2021, 20:56