EISA Somalia: Let's talk elections

Let's Talk Elections session 1: Engaging Stakeholders in the 2020/2021 Electoral process

EISA facilitates the production of Let's talk elections dialogue sessions in the run up to the 2020/21 elections with Somali electoral stakeholders. These include the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), civil society organisations (CSOs), political parties and the media.

Each session has focused on topics such as the impact of COVID on elections, challenges facing the 2020/2021 election, internally displaced people and refugees the participation of youth and women, and engaging stakeholders in the electoral process. Other areas to be covered in the future include the legal framework for elections, voter registration, voter education and information, funding of political parties and elections campaigns, and managing election conflict.

The series' sessions are aired on Somali TV, radio channels and social media.

2020


Informing and educating citizens on electoral participation

Sep 2020

EISA continued to inform and educate citizens on electoral participation. EISA reached two Federal Members States, namely Puntland and Banadire Administration Region (Mogadishu). Four episodes of Let's Talk Elections were conducted during September, just days before the agreed Electoral Code. The themes covered were: Are political parties ready for the 2020-2021 elections?; Barriers and solutions to increase youth and women's political participation; Electoral stakeholders and their roles in the election: and Public debate on the proposed electoral models and possible roles that can be played by political stakeholders including the NIEC.

All episodes were aired on Somali TV, radio, and social platforms. The format of this activity continued to raise EISA's profile and extend the reach of this series. Somalis from the diaspora are also actively engaged through the use of social media platforms.

Challenges facing the 2020/2021 Election
Let's Talk Elections on YouTube: The impact COVID-19 on Somali election

2-4 & 15-16 July 2020

EISA, in partnership with Center for Research and Human Development (CRHD), produced sessions in Mogadishu and Dhusamareeb (Galmudug State) on 2-4 and 15-16 July respectively. In Galmudug, the debate took place as a side event to Somalia Federal Government (FGS) and Federal Members States (FMS) historical gathering to discuss the upcoming elections.

Participants included academics, political parties' representatives, media, civil society, representatives of federal member states and federal parliaments. They addressed the challenges facing the 2020/2021 election in Somalia.

All sessions were aired on radio, Somali TV, and social platforms.

The impact of COVID-19 on the 2020/2021 election

June 2020

EISA, in partnership with Center for Research and Human Development (CRHD), produced an session of the series "Let's Talk Elections" on the impact of COVID-19 on 2020-2021 election.

The dialogue was attended by high profile guests and speakers from the Office of the President, Office of the Prime Minister, representatives from the lower and upper houses of parliament, Deputy Minister of Health and the Electoral Commission.

The event was broadcast on national and private media in Somalia, including social media platforms.

This was followerd by a campaign under the label "Sensitisation and awareness campaign to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020/2021 Somalia elections" on 29-30 June 2020.

2019


Let's Talk Elections session 3: Enhancing participation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Refugees in elections
Participation of internally displaced people and refugees in elections

In support to the 2020/2021 elections in Somalia, EISA, together with the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) hosted a debate on Enhancing participation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Refugees in elections. The event was held on the 29th November 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. The debate took place as a side event at the 6th Annual Continental Forum of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) on enhancing IDPs participation in elections hosted by the African Union in Nairobi from the 28-29 November 2019.

The event provided a platform for the NIEC, academia and other practitioners to engage with theoretical and practical aspects on the inclusion of IDPs and refugees in the upcoming 2020/2021 Somalia elections. The debate was broadcast on Somali TV and radio channels as well as social media.

Let's Talk Elections session 2: Youth and Women's Participation in the Electoral Process
Youth and Women's Participation in the Electoral Process

12 Nov 2019

EISA held the second dialogue session under the title Youth and Women's Participation in the Electoral Process in Southwest state. Women and youth came in numbers to discuss issues affecting their role in the electoral processes. They also discussed possible solutions that can enhance youth and women participation ahead of the 2020/2021 one-person, one-vote elections.

Participants engaged with the panellists from the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC). This session was attended by community influencers such as Elders and religious leaders.

Let's Talk Elections session 3: Enhancing participation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Refugees in elections

In preparation for the 2020/2021 one-person, one-vote elections in Somalia, EISA re-introduced its series titled "Let's Talk Elections" to provide a platform for electoral stakeholders to engage. The series is conducted in all Federal Member States (FMSs) and Banadir Regional Administration (Mogadishu).

EISA plans to continue this series to talk about electoral issues in Somalia and will conduct these dialogues in all FMSs and Banadir Regional Administration (Mogadishu).

Engaging stakeholders in the electoral process

On Thursday, 3rd October 2019, EISA held the first in a series of open discussions under the title Engaging Stakeholders in the 2020/2021 Electoral process in Mogadishu.

Discussions were lively and many of those present were women and youth. They highlighted the important opportunity to discuss issues affecting the preparations for the 2020/2021 electoral processes.