Mogadishu – Somalia has registered seven political parties since the country fell into a military dictatorship in the 1960s.
The country’s electoral body, National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) awarded certificates of registration to the first seven political parties, noting it was the start of transition into multi-party politics, local media reported on Monday.
“We have to come up with political parties that will compete in the elections that will take place in the country in order to move away from the system of 4.5 to one person one vote,” NIEC chair Halima Ibrahim said.
“We have succeeded in this process and today we temporarily registered seven political parties,” Ibrahim said.
The political parties, one of them headed by former foreign affairs minister and Deputy Prime Minister Fawzia Yusuf, are the first such political institutions to be formally registered in the country in more than 50 years after Siad Barre overturned the civilian constitution in 1969.
A number of parties have been in existence but not formally registered in line with the country’s new electoral and political party laws.
Lower House Speaker Mohamed Jawari said the registration of the parties marked a significant milestone in building the country’s democratic culture.
“Political parties, whether ruling or opposition are the pillars of our politics and democratic culture of our country,” said Jawari.
The Horn of Africa nation is preparing for one person one vote in 2020 and formation of political parties is one of the stages in preparation for the exercise.(Xinhua/NAN)