Position of the Forum for Unity and Democracy regarding National Commissions

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PRESS RELEASE

(For Immediate Release)

15 May 2015, Mogadishu, Somalia – The Forum for Unity and Democracy (FUD), in principle, welcomes the formation of the Judicial Service Commission, Independent National Electoral Commission and Boundary and Federation Commission. These commissions, according to the Provisional Constitution must be independent of government or political control and must be competent. The independence and the competence of these commissions are critical, for they serve the needs of all stakeholders, including the electorate, political parties, and civil society groups.

The FUD has been monitoring the government process for selecting the above stated commissions. The Forum believes that the selection and appointment process did not meet the required parameters. There were no pre-agreed and publicly declared criteria used for the nomination of candidates and the appointments of members were inadequately scrutinized. Moreover, political parties, civil society groups, and Federal Member States should have been involved to ensure the transparency needed to secure stakeholder confidence.

The Forum believes that there were politically vested interests in the selection of members. Without transparency and due diligence, the integrity and the competency of the commissions will be compromised possibly derailing democratic transition and free and fair elections in 2016.

The Forum for Unity and Democracy urges the Federal Parliament to exercise its oversight function to mitigate the shortfalls of the nomination process. The Parliament must take the necessary steps for the participation of all stakeholders and must carry out due diligence in the selection process.

The Forum shares its concerns with all stakeholders and the Somali public and call for a timely rectification of the selection in order to ensure the integrity, competence, and the independence of these commissions.

END

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