Somalia’s electoral officials wrapped up their three-day training in Nairobi on Thursday vowing to embark on the electoral boundary delimitation exercise.
Somalia’s National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) chairperson, Halima Ismail Ibrahim, said the exercise will start in earnest in 2019 ahead of the one-person one-vote elections in 2020.
“When I was coming from Mogadishu, I didn’t have the knowledge that I have now. We thought that it was a simple thing, the delimitation of boundaries for elections,” Ibrahim said in a statement released by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Ibrahim said while they had planned to start the process in 2020, they realized after their training that the exercise was urgent and required a lot of work hence their decision to immediately embark on the process.
“We were planning to do it around 2019 but before we start we need to take (various) steps, you need a lot of principles to follow, you must have a legal framework whether it’s from parliament or from the NIEC, we have found that we are in a real critical situation. We must start the process as soon as we go back,” she added.
The three-day training, facilitated by AMISOM and supported by the African Union Commission, brought together 24 participants drawn from NIEC, various ministries, Office of the President and Office of the Prime Minister.
Participants deliberated on the legal and institutional framework for electoral boundary delimitation, impact of system of government and electoral systems on the delimitation, the use of technology in boundary delimitation, among others.
Ali Mohamed Mohamud, a senior policy adviser for the Ministry of Interior, said the team had gained plenty of insights in the way democratic and independent elections are held in the normal and post-conflict countries in Africa.