Members of Somalia’s new parliament to be elected this year must join a political party within two years or step down as part of efforts to shift the Horn of Africa nation away from clan-based politics, a forum of regional and national leaders said.
Somalia is slowly rebuilding after more than two decades of conflict and chaos fuelled largely by clan rivalries. It holds an election in September for the new parliament, whose lawmakers will in turn choose a president in October.
Somali authorities and international sponsors had to scrap a plan for each person to get a vote, largely due to security challenges as the Western-backed government is still battling an Islamist insurgency.
Somalia may be eligible to tap financing from the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral lenders if it maintains a reform program intended to help rebuild the country’s war-shattered economy, the IMF country head said.
Prospects for peace after more than two decades of conflict have been boosted after Somalis agreed to elect a new president on Oct. 30, Samba Thiam said in an e-mailed response to questions Aug. 9. The IMF expects the Horn of Africa nation to open up to foreign capital as the government continues to improve its management of the economy, he said.
“Progress has been made already in the areas of investment law, procurement, contract concessions, public financial management and anti-money laundering,” Thiam said. “If the current and subsequent programs are successfully implemented, in the future Somalia may indeed access IMF financing.”