Somalia moves towards one person one vote elections in 2020-2021

On 13 December 2017, the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) has launched a five-year Strategic Plan to help Somalia achieving its first ‘one-person, one-vote’ elections in 2020-2021. Alongside with the plan, NIEC also released a ‘Somali Lexicon of Electoral Terminology’, a glossary of electoral terms in English, Somali and Arabic languages, which will frame public outreach activities and the drafting of Somali electoral legislation.

The five-year Strategic Plan will guide the administration and management of universal elections by 2020-2021 in Somalia. The document includes guidance on the drafting of electoral laws, civic education programs, women participation in elections, as well as on voter and political party registration mechanisms. The plan will provide a framework for the future activities undertaken by the Electoral Commission and will be subject to regular review.

The Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, Mr. Raisedon Zenenga, expects the Strategic Plan to clear the way for NIEC’s mandate in the next years. At the event, he warmly welcomed the launch of these two documents and declared the UN will continue to offer support to the elections in Somalia. “I would also like to recognize the work of the Electoral Task Force led by the Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, particularly its efforts to advance the electoral law, and to thank the donor partners that are contributing to our electoral support efforts, I hope that they will continue to do so in 2018”, he added.

The Somali Lexicon of Electoral Terminology harmonizes the definition of 481 key electoral expressions to provide a mainstream electoral terminology, and builds on their pre-existing Arabic lexicon, which was developed in partnership with the UNDP Regional Bureau of Arab States. This electoral glossary will be a useful tool to promote civic and voter education among the population but also will serve as a basis for electoral and governmental bodies to develop legal frameworks.

Ms. Halima Ibrahim, NIEC’s Chairperson also ensured NIEC’s commitment to conduct the elections within the specified timeframe, yet public outreach is essential to the electoral process.

These two initiatives have been supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), under the UN Integrated Electoral Support Group (IESG), funded by the European Union, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

This story is based on the following articles:

Somali Electoral Commission launch 5-year plan to achieve ‘one-person, one-vote’ elections in 2020-2021


Read the Somali Lexicon of Electoral Terminology here:
Somali Lexicon of Electoral Terminology

The overall strategic objective of the UNDP/UNSOM Joint Programme for “Support to the Electoral Process to the Federal Republic of Somalia” is to prepare the country for universal elections through institutional capacity development of the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), the development of the legal framework for elections, and support to promote better understanding of electoral processes.


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