February 3, 2023

Somali Electoral Commission Releases Parliamentary Election Procedures

6 min read

The Federal Elections Implementation Team (FEIT) has recently issued guidelines for the 2020/2021 parliamentary elections.

The parliamentary election process developed by FEIT is 10 pages long and gives most of the powers to the commission.

Electoral delegates will be selected by a selection committee composed of traditional elders and civil society representatives from the community or sub-clans sharing the seat, according to the new guidelines.

According to the process, the selection of the Somaliland delegation will be shared, which has been controversial in recent times.

The procedure also stipulates that the five members who select the delegates will be selected by the highest-ranking traditional elder or sub-clan, in consultation with the community elders.

The commission has announced that the registration fee for candidates for the House of Representatives will be $ 10,000 for men and $ 5,000 for women candidates.

Read the full procedure below

CHAPTER 1: Structure of the Delegation Selection Committee

  • Electoral Delegates are selected by the Delegation Selection Committee consisting of traditional elders and civil society representatives from all communities or sub-clans sharing the seat.
  • Each sub-clan sharing a seat is represented by 3 traditional elders of that sub-clan and two (2) representatives of the civil society of that sub-clan, each of whom represents a woman.
  • The selection of Somaliland words will be shared.
  • Election delegates must represent all sub-clans of the constituency.
  • Not every member of the Delegation Selection Committee may be a member of any other Selection Committee.
  • Each of the 275 seats will have a five-member committee to select delegates (101).
  • A member of the Electoral Commission may not be a member of the Electoral Commission or a candidate.
  • The Delegation Selection Committee selects the election delegates collectively.

Civil society: –

  • Each Selection Committee shall have two (2) members from civil society.
  • The two (2) members of the civil society must be women.
  • In civil society, they come from all walks of life such as scholars, business people, teachers, doctors, aid workers and people with special needs from the community or constituency.
  • Procedures for the selection committee:

The members who select the delegates are five (5) members and they come in: –

  • The highest-ranking member of the community or sub-clan sharing the seat selects the five members, in consultation with the Peacekeepers / Chiefs.
  • The five members select the 101 delegates, in consultation with the Peacekeepers, the Peacekeepers and the intellectuals of the community or sub-clan sharing the seat.

Each of the 275 seats in the House of the People is elected by 101 delegates, ensuring that all sections of the society are inclusive. The total number of delegates participating in the 2020/2021 parliamentary elections in the Federal Republic of Somalia is 27,775, with seats in Somaliland shared.

Community Information

The Federal Electoral Commission shall inform the traditional elders to select the delegates.

They are given:

Delegation Selection Committee Form, to be completed and signed
After the recorders have submitted the list of the selection committee, the selection committee will be given: –

  • A statement outlining the requirements for the delegation
  • Delegation List Form
  • The Delegation Selection Committee submits a list of delegates for each seat allocated to the community / sub-clan, using the Delegation Registration form signed by the Delegation Selection Committee for that seat, which certifies the quota for women, community members participating in the delegation.

The State Election Commission will take two photocopies of each member of the delegation.

Delegate Requirements:

The selection of a candidate is based on the following criteria:

  • Be Somali and belong to the seat / clan that owns the seat
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • That he/she is sane and able to vote.
  • Understand election responsibilities.
  • That he/she is not a candidate for either house.
  • Not to be sentenced by a court to a final sentence of five years, which may result in imprisonment.
  • He/she shall not hold any political office during the election
  • Has no links to terrorist groups.


Community Representation:

Delegates voting for each seat should be made up of different sections of the community or sub-clan, such as women, youth, business people, religious leaders, etc.

  • Women must make up at least 30% of the total delegation (31 delegates).
  • Young people must be at least 20% of the total number of delegates (20 delegates).
  • The rest of the delegation will be from different sections of the community.

Delegation Registration Areas.

Delegation registration forms must include the name of the state, the city where the election will take place, the seat number, the tribe, the fourth name, the mother’s name, the date of birth, the place of birth and the telephone number of the delegate. It should also contain the names, signatures, dates, Delegation Selection Committees and names, dates, and should appear on the FEIT and SEIT signatures.

Delegation Verification 

Once the lists of delegates have been finalized by the selection committee, they will then be forwarded to the regional election commission (SEIT), which should be checked, to determine if the correct balance is based on the community or sub-clan. If the verification indicates that the delegate did not meet the eligibility criteria or representation levels are incorrect the following procedure will be followed.

If the submitted list does not meet the criteria for the selection of delegates.

The Delegation Selection Committee submits the list to the SEIT committee, and the committee reviews and verifies the lists before submitting it to the FEIT, to ensure the correct application of the membership requirements.

If sub-clans refuses to submit the names in accordance with the specified selection criteria, the FEIT and SEIT committees shall resolve the dispute over the selection of delegates. The election of a seat whose delegates have not been nominated or inaccurate will not take place until a valid and final solution has been reached.


If a delegate resigns due to an emergency, such as construction, illness or personal interest, he or she may be replaced by a Delegation Selection Committee, in collaboration with the State Electoral Commission for two days, and then verified by the SEIT.

Delegate ID Card

On election day, election delegates go to the polling station, to be given voter ID. The Delegation Selection Committee for that elected seat confirms the voting delegates are the correct delegates.

FEIT staff will provide voter identification for each delegate, whose name is on the certified list of electing delegates.

Quorum: In order for a sub-clan to hold a seat election, at least 80% of the delegates, equivalent to 81 delegates, must be present. If the quorum is not met, no election will be held until the quorum is completed.

Each delegate must present his / her voter ID and cannot vote without a voter ID. For each seat, the FEIT committee will issue only 101 voter IDs.

The seats in Somaliland will be shared. Each of the 101 delegates can choose from 1 to 5 seats.

The purpose of the candidate registration process is to provide opportunities for aspiring citizens, and to ensure only that they meet the requirements for candidacy. The candidate registration process lasts 12 days.

Candidate Registration Procedures & Locations.

The candidate shall register at the constituency in which he / she is running for the seat, fulfilling the following requirements of the Candidates for the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.

Candidate Requirements

  • Be a citizen of the Federal Republic of Somalia
  • He/she is mentally fit
  • He/she is over 25 years old
  • His / her citizenship rights have not been suspended by a court decision for the last five (5) years.
  • Must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent experience.
  • Has no affiliation with or any affiliation with terrorist groups
  • Holds a CID document.
  • Officers / commanders, members of the National Independent Commissions if they are contesting must resign three (3) weeks before the registration deadline.
  • Each candidate for the House of the People must pay the registration fee and deposit it into the Electoral Commission’s bank account.
  • The registration fee for candidates for the House of Representatives will be $ 10,000, (ten thousand dollars) for men and $ 5,000, (five thousand dollars) for women.
  • Candidate registration fees will not be refunded.

Women’s Quota

Members of Parliament must be at least 30% women, which is the responsibility of the FEIT and SEIT, traditional elders, civil society and regional administrations.

Each sub-clan with one of three seats should be designated to be contested by women only.

If the community does not design a seat for women, it will be nominated by the Federal Member State Electoral Commission (SEIT) and the Federal Electoral Implementation Commission (FEIT), in collaboration with the State Government in which the seat is located. The remaining seats are open to women.

Withdrawal of Candidacy.

Any candidate may withdraw from the race at any time, prior to the publication of the final candidacy list, by completing the Candidacy Withdrawal Notice Form. If a candidate dies after the registration of the candidate, but the election has not yet taken place, it will be confirmed by FEIT, and the registration of candidates will be reopened if only one candidate remains in the race for that seat.


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