Mogadishu (SD) – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) has today issued a statement on the upcoming elections in Somalia.
A statement from UNSOM called for ensuring that the country’s political landscape is open, allowing for the expression of different voices and views as part of the democratization process. To achieve this, freedom of speech, expression, and association must be protected.
“A vibrant political space is one that permits and encourages the participation of all segments of society – individual citizens, the media, civil society, public institutions, and political parties, among others. A democratic society must allow different viewpoints on political issues to be expressed openly, free from restriction or harassment,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan.
“Somalia has made progress on governance reforms in recent years, and now it is imperative to expand political space further as the country prepares for elections. It is particularly important that the voices of historically marginalized groups be heard,” he added. “Democracy is more than the holding of elections; it also means ensuring a country’s political space allows for the participation of all in public life.”
The UN in Somalia noted that freedom of expression, thought, and assembly are fundamental values of democracy enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Provisional Constitution of Somalia.
The United Nations also said it is ready to work with Somali authorities to protect and expand the political arena in Somalia.
Somalia’s political stakeholders recent agreed on an election process that allows federal and regional member states oversight.
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