Somalia’s parliamentary elections are facing another potential delay, as a significant number of seats in the House of the People have not yet been filled with only one day left until the election deadline.
At the time of writing, 225 out of 275 lawmakers have been elected thus far with women representing 20% of those seats. In order to reach the 30% quota, 37 out of the remaining 50 seats must be secured by women.
In areas such as Garbaharey in Gedo, Jubbaland parliamentary elections have not even commenced yet due to challenges faced regarding securing a venue for the poll, ultimately delaying the whole process.
The chair of the Somali Women Association, Batulo Ahmed Gaballe, who was appointed by Prime Minister Mohamed Roble to help ensure that the gender quota would be reached stated to VOA that “the problems were created by state election commissions and regional presidents who chose to break the law”.
In Somalia, a new president cannot be selected until all seats of the House of People (parliament, or Lower House) are assigned. This is because both the Upper House, which consists of 54 senators, and the Lower House, which consists of 275 lawmakers, vote for the president in a secret ballot.