THE NATIONAL LEADERS FORUM COMMUNIQUE:

THE NATIONAL LEADERS FORUM COMMUNIQUE:

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1. The National Leadership Forum met in Mogadishu from 9 to 12 April 2016.
2. The participants included the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the Speaker of the Federal Parliament, H.E. Mohammed Sh. Osman Jawari, the Prime Minister of the Federal Government, H.E. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmaarke, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Government, H.E. Mohamed Omar Arteh, the President of Puntland, H.E. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, the President of Jubbaland, H.E. Ahmed Mohamed Islaan, the President of the South-West, H.E. Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, and the President of Galmudug, H.E. Abdulkarim Hussein Guled.
3. The National Leadership Forum (NLF) welcomed the agreement reached between the Federal Government of Somalia and Puntland State on 03 April 2016 and noted that it paves the way for the implementation of the 2016 electoral process, as well as for preparations for universal (one-person one-vote) elections in 2020.
4. The Forum reiterated its commitment that there shall be no extension of the constitutionally mandated term limits of the legislative and the Federal Government. It called on all relevant entities to ensure the expeditious preparation and timely implementation of the 2016 electoral process and requested the assistance of international partners in this regard. Against this background, the NLF agreed on the following structures and modalities:

Electoral Process
Structures:
a. The 2016 electoral process will be uniform. A two-level structure comprising a Federal Electoral Implementation Team (FEIT) and a State-Level Electoral Implementation Teams (SEITs) in each of the existing and emerging Federal Member States that will implement the process.

b. The FEIT will be composed of 17 Members where Five (5) members will be appointed by the Federal Government and two (2) members appointed by each of existing/emerging Member State.

c. Each SEIT will comprise of 11 members; Eight (8) members appointed by the Federal Member State and three (3) appointed by the Federal Government.

d. The FEIT and SEITs will be formed as soon as possible and they will undertake all relevant preparations for the electoral process. Clear Terms of References (TORs) for FEIT and SEIT will be developed and agreed upon for by the NLF.

e. The NLF will create a Dispute Resolution Mechanism for the 2016 electoral process.
PROCESS:
Upper House:
f. The Upper House of Parliament will be established before the elections of the Lower House.

g. 30% of seats in each existing and emerging Federal Member State will be identified and specially reserved for women candidates.

h. State executives will nominate at least two candidates for each seat. The state assemblies will vote for each seat individually.

i. Each existing and emerging Federal Member State will adopt its own formula for distributing its seats among its communities or regions in a balanced and inclusive manner, ensuring adequate representation of the minorities.

j. Voting for the members of the Upper House of Parliament shall take place in parallel, on the same days, across all Federal Member States.

k. The Presidents of the Federal Member States shall duly sign the list of official members of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament for their respective States after SEITs forward the certified final results.

Lower House:
a. The List of the 135 Traditional Elders shall serve as the base of the electoral process. The list will be updated, whereby the deceased elders will be replaced and those questionable or disputed will be corrected.

b. The Final list of agreed upon 135 Traditional Elders will select the Electoral Colleges in consultations with their relevant and respective elders (Nabadoono)
c. Each candidate will be elected by an Electoral College of 50 members. The total electorate will be 275 x 50 = 13,750.

d. The electors will be drawn from the sub-clans sharing the seat and will represent the diversity of the relevant community, including civil society and youth. Each Electoral College will contain a minimum of 30% women.

e. Voting will take place in the capital or seat of government of each existing and emerging Federal Member State and Mogadishu, based on the geographic distribution of the seats.

f. In the absence of Somaliland’s participation in the electoral process, the representatives of Somaliland in the Lower House shall be elected at a location agreed upon by the Traditional Elders from Somaliland among the 135.

g. The distribution of the 275 Members of Lower House of the Federal Parliament will be based on the clans/constituencies party to the formation of each existing and emerging Federal Member State.

h. The Presidents of the Federal Member States shall duly sign the list of official members of the Lower House of the Federal Parliament for their respective States after SEITs forward the certified final results.

Venue and other issues:

• The electoral process will be conducted in the state capitals or respective seats of Federal Member States and Emerging Federal Member States.

• The 2016 electoral model and its implementation mechanism shall be tabled to the Federal Parliament for final endorsement.

The National Leadership Forum Further:
1. Decided to host a Constitutional Conference in Garowe between 25 May to 05, June 2016. A meeting of the National Leaders Forum will precede the conference to deliberate and agree on political and constitutionally contentious issues to advance the review process.
2. The National Security Policy was shared by the Federal Government of Somalia to the leaders of the Federal Member States and welcomed plans for consultative meeting in the regions to advance the implementation of the policy.
3. The Forum expressed appreciations to the International Donors and Partners for their unyielding commitment to the electoral process.
4. The National Leadership Forum expresses their deep concern about the behaviour and the practices of the SEMG (Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group); especially their targeting of the Somali citizens and hindering the process of state building in Somalia.
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Mogadishu, 12 April 2016.