IFISO Independent Vetting Coalition calls upon the newly selected Federal Parliament to elect candidates committed to values of transparency and democratic governance. IFISO also raises serious concerns over the lack of a mandated gender quota in the new Federal Parliament and reports of intimidation and manipulation in the nomination process, while heralding the success in keeping warlords from entering the political arena.
As the mandate of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) ends today, 275 Members of Parliament will soon sit to elect a Speaker of Parliament, two Deputies Speakers, and President. The eldest among the MPs will be responsible for overseeing the election of the Speaker and his Deputies. During this crucial exercise MPs must recall their responsibility to examine the records of candidates and reject those associated with the corruption, embezzlement of public funds, and abuse of office which has taken place over the past thirty years.
IFISO commends the work of the Technical Selection Committee in rejecting the nomination of warlords. The Committee should however also ensure adherence to the 30% quota for female MPs as established by the foundational agreements of the End of Transition. Of the 202 names currently available less than 30 of the selected Parliamentarians are female.
“On this historic day we must mark an achievement for Somalia and the success of a key objective of IFISO as we see that warlords have not succeeded to subvert the End of Transition process,” said IFISO Chairperson Hassan Shire Sheikh. “Yet once again Somali women appear to have been excluded from having a strong voice in the governance of their nation.”
IFISO urges all stakeholders including the international community, observer missions, and technical officials to ensure transparency and adherence to established principles in the End of Transition process. In particular the Technical Selection Committee should ensure that the remaining names to be confirmed today as Members of Parliament rectify the deficiency of qualified female Parliamentarians and do not introduce criminal or corrupt candidates into power.
IFISO Independent Vetting Coalition consists of representatives from all sectors of Somali society, and relies on voluntary contributions from national and international human rights bodies, media houses, grassroots movements, civil society, and other experts. The Coalition was assembled to independently monitor the End of Transition process to ensure warlords, perpetrators of war crimes, and those implicated in theft of public resources do not gain Post-Transition political power.
IFISO was launched in Mogadishu on 31st July 2012 with the participation of a large representation of Somali civil society. The work of IFISO has been recognized by national and international stakeholders for its role promoting transparency and accountability in the new Somali Federal Government