“Somalia needs stability, peace and development. The country is at a critical crossroads. I urge all those involved in the election process to respect the rules and ensure that the elections are carried out in a credible and transparent manner. This is crucial if the new leaders are to win the confidence of both the Somali people and the international community,” said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre.
Over the last year, the security situtation has improved in and around Mogadishu, and progress has been made towards completing the political transition process. The adoption of the new consititution on 1 August was a major step forward. Clan representatives have been asked to form a new parliament, which is to elect the new president by 20 August.
Recently, however, there have been claims of extensive corruption. There have also been reports of threats and use of violence in connection with the selection of members of the new parliament and the forthcoming election of the president. This could undermine the credibility and legitimacy of those who are stepping into power, and deflate the hope of a new and better start for the country.
Norway’s Minister of International Development, Heikki Holmås, is concerned about the safety of those who are screening the proposed candidates for the new parliament.
“Members of the Technical Selection Committee are particularly at risk. Both Somali leaders and those who support the country must do what they can to ensure that the TSC members are able to do their job without threats or fear of reprisals. The African Union Mission in Somalia also has an important role to play here,” said Mr Holmås.