Policy Brief: Somalia 2016 Elections: Contesting the Boundaries of Democracy
At the end of 2013, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) committed to “Vision 2016”, an audacious plan to execute all the points of reference in the Provisional Constitution of Somalia and the New Deal’s Somali Compact. These two crucial documents directed the FGS to undertake various legal and institutional functions within a specific time frame. These guidelines facilitated the formulation of Vision 2016, which authorized the government to groom the nation for direct elections in 2016. Vision 2016 capitalizes on election as an inexorable means of initiating a fresh, post-conflict civic order in Somalia where citizens are mandated to select their representatives and hence bestow legality in the new political order.
However, the light of this vision was dimmed in July 2015 when the Federal government leaders informed the nation that it will not be possible to hold direct “one-person one-vote” elections in 2016. Consequently, the government, in consultation with other local and regional constituents, has designed an action plan and legal framework for 2016 election. On 29th and 30th July 2015, the high level Partnership Forum held in Mogadishu endorsed this action plan, based on guiding principles, which elaborates the plan to develop an outline for a National Consultative Process to determine the most appropriate model for 2016 election. In September 2015, in Mogadishu, the Federal Government, Federal Member States, Civil Society and International Community witnessed the formation of a National Consultative Forum on Electoral Processes (NCFEP). NCFEP was commissioned to engage the civil society and lobby for recommendations on best models for 2016 electoral process.
Within this context, this Policy Brief is based on the results of a study addressing;(a) People’s perception towards “Vision 2016”, (b) The alternatives menu of options available to the original direct election “one-man one -vote” plan, and (c) The possibility of holding elections in 2016.