James Swan: Parliamentary polls Must be Concluded Immediately

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The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia, Ambassador James Swan, has called for the election of the House of Representatives of Somalia to be completed before the end of this year.

He said he welcomes the completion of the upper house seats of which 14 are women, and the start of the parliamentary elections.

James Swan, who briefed the UN Security Council on the situation in Somalia on Wednesday said he appreciated the ongoing efforts to move the parliamentary elections forward.

James Swan was accompanied by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira and Ms. Asha Siyad, who is campaigning for a 30 per cent quota for women in the elections.

Swan says progress has been made in Somalia’s electoral process, albeit at a slow pace. He said he welcomes the recent election of all 54 seats in the Upper House of the Federal Parliament of Somalia.

He added that it was an encouraging step that 14 women would soon take over as senators, representing 26 per cent of the members of the Upper House. It is also encouraging that the election of the House of the People has begun, with 2 of the 275 seats completed and this week it was announced that the election of an additional 11 seats will begin.

He added that in addition to preparations for the national elections, direct elections were held peacefully in October in three districts of Puntland state, highlighting the possibility of a one-person, one-vote election and underscoring the desire of the Somali people in terms of political participation in accordance with the international electoral system