SPA analysis and recommendations on the NCC election agreement leads to high-level dialogue among current and former Somalia leaders

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On 25 June 2023, the Somali Public Agenda published a policy paper analyzing the National Consultative Council (NCC) agreement on federal, state, and local elections. The 27 May 2023 NCC agreement, which was the fifth political agreement on contentious political issues – the four previous agreements included judiciary model, power allocation, fiscal federalism, and National Security Architecture – generated significant political and public debate.

The NCC election agreement proposed a proportional representation closed-list electoral model, and a single national constituency in Somalia’s future elections. The agreement limited the number of political parties to two, which would be formed through local council elections scheduled to take place in June 2024 and would compete for the state-level elections and then the national elections. The NCC members also agreed to unify the timelines of all federal, state, and local elections as well as to move away from the current hybrid system to a presidential system. The NCC agreed on the establishment of a new 15-member National Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission

SPA Analysis

The Somali Public Agenda Policy Paper critically examined the 5 core points of the agreement, evaluating their strengths, and weaknesses. The paper also analyzed additional challenges and put forward policy recommendations. The main recommendations of the policy paper emphasized the need for extensive political dialogue on key contents of the election agreement.

Reach and Impact

Our core recommendation for increased political dialogue was subsequently taken up by the federal government. After leaders of the federal government read our policy paper, they came up with the initiative to convene a high-level 2-day consultation meeting with former leaders of Somalia. We know that our paper had this impact from subsequent interviews with incumbent authorities.

The President invited former presidents, prime ministers, speakers of the parliament, and former presidential candidates for a consultation meeting in Mogadishu. The meeting was held in Mogadishu on 12-13 July 2023 and was also attended by the current Prime Minister and speakers of the two chambers of parliament.

The consultation meeting was not only limited to the elections but other issues where also discussed including  the completion of the provisional federal constitution and the fight against al-Shabaab.

Although a communique was read by the government spokesperson, the members who attended the meeting also issued their own communique stating their position on the matters discussed. The 2-day consultation meeting was concluded with a dinner at Villa Somalia.

While we acknowledge a range of factors likely contributed to the successful implementation of the consultations, our ability to attribute its genesis to the SPA analysis comes from consultations with key stakeholders within the federal government. In meetings with high-level officials, SPA was informed that the analysis was shared and discussed amongst key decision-makers and ultimately led to the decision to conduct consultations with former Somali leaders as a step towards widening political dialogue on these issues.

That the SPA Policy Paper’s recommendations led to such important high-level dialogue among current and former Somalia leaders is evidence of the value of balanced analysis and constructive recommendations on key political decisions and policy matters in Somalia.


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