The Academy for Peace and Development conducted various consultative workshops for three regions at the end of March on the participation of women, youth and minority on the draft election law for the parliamentary. The activities were conducted in Berbera, Burco and Laasanood. More than 50 participants attended the workshops in each location.Those present contributed in a very productive manner during the presiding sessions.
Most of the women groups requested that a quota system should be introduced into the law so that women can have access to election process. It was very clear from the participants of the workshops suggest that without reasonable quota of seats being set aside for women and minority groups, they won’t be fully represented in the national decision making bodies of the country. It is also unlikely that they will get their legitimate representation any time soon in the current socio-political context.
With regard to youth, they proposed the existing age limitation should be amended so that youth can be elected for the House of the Representatives. The current law provides that only the candidates who are aged 35 and above can be allowed to contest in the elections. Most of the youth are arguing that the age limit should be revised.
On the other hand, minority groups are suggested that quota system should also be introduced. However, there are many of them who believe that quota system is not good for them and they should be allowed to contest in the election without a quota system.
Finally, APD hosted a one day expert workshop for the legal experts to comment the draft law of the parliamentary election in Hargeisa. The workshop held at the Guleid Hotel was intended to give to space to the legal experts for their feedback and comments of the draft bill.