While Somalia is moving towards more inclusive institutions and systems, most citizens have never participated in a direct election. In February 2016 Somalis conducted an indirect electoral process where 14,000 delegates voted for MPs, and they in turn voted in a new president. The federal government of Somalia (FGS) has committed to one-person-one-vote elections in Somalia in 2020 and is in the process of reviewing its provisional constitution that may lead to a constitutional referendum to ratify the finalized document.
Somaliland has been conducting direct elections since 2002. However, the current cycle of elections was delayed multiple times. On November 13, 2017, Somaliland held a presidential election that was considered credible and well-organized by observers. This election was a step forward in multiple ways, including its expansion of direct polling to districts where it had not been undertaken before, and the use of cutting-edge technology to develop a clean voter registry.
Somali Elections is committed Bringing Unity, Integrity and Legitimacy to Democracy (BUILD) aims to support electoral and political processes across Somalia by fostering increased citizen participation; building the capacity of election management bodies (EMBs) and other relevant government bodies to administer credible elections; and supporting the development of issue-based and viable political parties.