MOGADISHU – International partners are pleased that the National Consultative Council (NCC) has convened. We commend the Prime Minister for taking this initiative and the FMS leaders for responding and attending.
This is a crucial moment to advance and conclude the electoral process. Partner expectations are high that the NCC will agree on the way forward to conclude the elections and show real commitment.
The Council has not met in this face-to-face format since August. Many important issues have emerged in the meantime, which now need the NCC’s urgent attention.
It is important to create a conducive and favourable environment for this NCC meeting and for elections going forward. We would like to see all Somali leaders’ lower tensions, show restraint, reduce confrontation, refrain from taking decisions without consultation, and avoid use of force.
We recognize that many procedural irregularities have already been seen in the House of the People elections conducted thus far. We urge the NCC to use this opportunity to correct those deficiencies and make process more transparent and credible.
The NCC should set a timeline for the completion of the elections that is realistic, achievable and to which all the Federal Member States leaders genuinely commit.
As you set the agenda, and in your discussion, we encourage all of you to be open to including issues that others in your group consider important. This is not the time to avoid difficult issues. It is important that, at the end of this NCC, there will not be outstanding issues obstructing or distracting from the completion of the electoral process.
We continue to support the NCC in its implementation of the 17 September 2020 and 27 May 2021 agreements. We see the Council as the main engine driving the electoral process. We do not support any alternative forum.
We would encourage the NCC to agree arrangements for regular follow-up meetings by zoom to take stock of the electoral process and maintain momentum.
We, the international community, have been your steadfast and patient partners. But that patience has limits. Delays in elections are an obstacle to international support for Somalia in other priority areas, such as security, development, and debt relief. Some partners are already reconsidering their level of future engagement in Somalia in view of electoral delays.
In conclusion, we urge the NCC to make the most of this important meeting and agree plans to complete the electoral process quickly and credibly.