Joint Statement on Agreement Signed to Hold Inclusive Elections

On the joyous and historic occasion of the agreement reached for the implementation of September 17 political electoral agreement, the undersigned trade unions of the Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) and affiliated trade union organizations hail the eagerly anticipated agreement, which paves the way for the country to hold inclusive elections based on consensus.

Trade unions extend warmest congratulations to Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble for not only convening, leading and facilitating the badly needed dialogue between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States but also assuming the great and challenging role of taking the country to inclusive elections. Special recognition goes to the Presidents of the Federal Member States and Governor of Banadir Region and Mayor of Mogadishu for putting national interest ahead of partisan politics. Your country and the working people thank you.

Labour movement sincerely commend the President of the Republic Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo” for not only empowering his Prime Minister to lead the national dialogue and consultations on elections but also for his tireless efforts to ensure the holding of the presidential and legislative elections in a timely manner, and for the statesmanship he demonstrated during this period, particularly in overcoming the many challenges and difficulties that emerged during the past several months.

The agreed implementation of the September 17 agreement is a testament to what is possible for our country and our people when public interest is prioritized through honest dialogue and good intentions.

On behalf of the working masses, FESTU and its affiliated trade unions – who have been actively involved in ending the electoral impasse – pledge our continued support to the judicious and timely implementation of this agreement. It is in the interest of the greater Somali nation that we achieve the building of a system of governance built on consensus. This is an essential pillar in building stability and realizing our vision of a lasting democratic governance in Somalia.

While we have great confidence in the country’s leadership bot at Federal and State levels, it is important to highlight the importance of safeguarding a number of issues critical to the timely implementation of the elections’ agreement and the building of a democratic system in the country:

Firstly, we call on the leaders and other authorities involved in the planning and implementation of the election to ensure that civil society organizations, particularly trade unions, have a meaningful and significant role in the process as stipulated in the September 17 agreement. This includes meaningful involvement in selecting delegates who will be voting in electoral caucuses as well as becoming part of the delegation that will elect the members of the House of the People.

Secondly, we call on the leaders and the authorities to ensure that during the elections, fundamental rights such as the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media are guaranteed as set out in the September 17 Agreement. The protection of these rights is crucial to ensuring that elections are free and fair. As a country that aspires for democracy to be a real and lived experience, there is nothing greater than ensuring our upcoming elections take place in an atmosphere where human rights are fully respected.

Thirdly, we call on the Federal and State leaders to ensure that the 30 percent quota for parliamentary seats for women is respected. It is a fact that women in Somalia have played and continue to play an important role in the development of our nation. We must ensure that their representation is fully protected. Any political system that excludes women from politics, systematically or unconsciously, will not succeed.

Finally, we congratulate the people of Somalia on this historic agreement. we also thank other political leaders for their time and efforts in supporting this agreement. 

Issued by:

 Federation of Somali Trade Unions
 Somali Agricultural & Food Workers Union
 National Union of Somali Journalists
 Somali Maritime, Fisheries & Port Workers Union
 Somali Telecommunications & Posts Union 
 Somali Hotel and Catering Workers Union 
 Somali Transport Workers Union 
 Somali Tailors and Textile Workers Union 
 National Electricity Workers Union of Somalia 
 Somalia Construction Workers Unions 
 Somali Nurse Workers Association 
 Somali Petroleum and Gas Workers Union 
 Somali National Teachers Unions 

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