New Somali law gives citizens more rights in electing leaders

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somalia elections 2020

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi alias Farmaajo signed into law the electoral bill on Friday, passing one more hurdle for the country to hold planned polls this year.

The law allows every eligible citizen to directly vote for their leaders, as opposed to the system where clan elders selected delegates to vote for leaders.

“You, the people of Somalia, can see that the bill had been endorsed by both the Peoples’ Hall and by the Upper House, and I have signed it in this ceremony. It returns the power to you so you can vote for the (political) party you choose and for the person you want,” Farmaajo said.

The president signed the bill into law during the closing ceremony of the 6th assembly of Somalia’s 10th Parliament, allowing the legislators to take a two-month break.

The gathering that started on Thursday evening went on beyond midnight at the Villa Somalia, the official residence of the Somali President in Mogadishu.

By ABDULKADIR KHALIF for The East African

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