BAIDOA, 19 NOVEMBER 2016 – The deputy Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (DSRCC), Hon. Lydia Wanyoto says Somalia is laying a strong foundation for electoral democracy.
Speaking during a visit to the electoral center in Baidoa, the administrative capital of South West state, where she watched balloting take place for an all-women’s seat, Hon. Wanyoto commended the progress made by the state in the ongoing electoral process.
“We are building a very good electoral culture in Somalia. People contest, the victor takes it with humility and those who lose, take it with grace and we then provide leadership for Somalia,” Hon. Wanyoto said.
“It is good to see Somalis vote leaders into office in a peaceful and stable environment; that why AMISOM and the African Union are in Somalia. We are very happy that we are contributing to this process,” she added.
Hon. Wanyoto had accompanied the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG), for Somalia Michael Keating to the electoral center to observe the voting process.
The winning candidate for the all female race was 25 years old Ms. Hani Mohamed Adan. “South West state is now on the path to achieving the allocated quota for women and I am grateful to ISWA President and the international stakeholders for ensuring women and young people are well represented in all spheres of our society”, an elated Ms Adan said.
SRSG Keating commended AMISOM for establishing a successful partnership with ISWA forces to effectively secure the elections. “I’m very pleased by the role AMISOM is playing with local authorities to secure these elections and I have been very impressed with what I witnessed today,” SRSG Keating stated.
Hon Wanyoto and SRSG Keating also held a meeting with the South West state president Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, where they discussed timelines to the electoral process and logistical challenges facing the exercise.
“We discussed a lot on elections and delivery as well as logistics of the delegates from Lower Shabelle. We are very much grateful of our shared goals and mutual interest in promoting a stable and self-reliant Somalia. We are also very grateful to AMISOM for working with the local authorities in strengthening the security of the elections”, President Sharif told journalists after the meeting.
Two other MPs were elected in Baidoa on Sunday. Former Somali ambassador to Turkey Mohamed Mursal Sheikh Abdirahman and Idris Abdi Takar emerged victorious in the elections.