Elections for the House of the People commences in Banaadir region

A delegate walks past the ballot box during the electoral process to choose representatives to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament in Mogadishu on 30 November 2016. UN Photo

30 Nov 2016

Elections for the House of the People commences in Banaadir region

Two candidates were voted to the House of the People as the electoral process for Banaadir region started today.

The peaceful exercise saw the re-election of former second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mahad Abdalla Awad, and newcomer Khalid Maow Abdulkadir.

MP-elect Awad beat two other contestants to the seat, winning by a landslide, garnering 50 of the 51 votes cast. However, Abdulkadir was in a tight race, garnering 29 votes against the 21 received by Sharif Mohamed Sidi.

The maiden exercise in Mogadishu was observed by the Chairman of the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT), Omar Mohamed Abdulle; his Deputy, Deqa Yasin, and Mogadishu Mayor, Sheikh Yusuf Hussein Jimale, among others. The winners were declared by Mr. Abdulle and his fellow FIEIT member, Aweis Abokar Soccorro.

“The contest was between Mr. Mahad Abdalla Awad and Mr. Hassan Mohamed Noor. Awad got 50 votes while Hassan Noor got one. Therefore according to the results I declare Mahad Abdalla Awad the winner,” FIEIT Chairman Abdulle announced.

Mr. Abdulle described the electoral process in Mogadishu as historic, and expressed optimism exercise will be successful.

“It is one of the days that are important since we began the electoral process in July, and now we are in the conclusion stage given that the elections have been going on in the regions. Today the number of the elected MPs has hit the requisite two-thirds mark, although Somaliland is yet to start the electoral process,” Mr. Abdulle noted.

In his victory speech, Mr. Awad, one of the longest serving MPs, described his win as a vote of confidence by his constituents. “I am honoured to be elected again and I thank the delegates from my constituency for bestowing their confidence and trust in me,” he added.

MP-elect Abdulkadir observed that the 2016 electoral process heralds a new beginning for Somalia’s politics.

“This process is new to Somalia but as the saying goes a journey of 1000 miles starts with one step. This is the first step towards democracy. The journey may be long but the solution should be from the Somali people. They should be self-dependent. I want to raise the awareness of my people. They should know that security is paramount. I want to foster peace and reconciliation so as to have unity,” MP-elect Abdulkadir stated.

Banaadir, under which Mogadishu falls, still has five seats to fill. FIEIT Chairman noted that the process to fill the remaining seats may resume at the weekend.

Mohamed Bin Ali, a delegate, was visibly impressed with the process describing it as free and fair. “The security of the whole process today was good. There was no incident reported. I am very happy and pleased with the process,” Mr. Ali said.

In Baidoa, six candidates were elected in the last two days. On Tuesday, two former MPs, Sareedo Mohamed Abdullahi, and Mohamud Mohamed Bono, were full of joy after being re-elected. 

Mr. Abdullahi garnered 32 votes, beating two other opponents, Mako Mohamed Mohamud and Hamdi Hilowle Moalim who received 14 and 2 votes respectively in an all- women contest, while her colleague Mohamud Mohamed Bono won the seat after garnering 31 votes. His opponent Abdikadir Mohamed Ali received 20 votes.

Today, four more candidates were elected in South West State. The four are former MPs, Hassan Ibrahim Mohamed, Abdifatah Ibrahim Geesey, Mohamed Issack Osman and Iimaan Abdullahi Ali.

The State Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (SIEIT) Deputy Chairman, Sid Ali Abukar Baafo said they would soon fill all the 69 seats allocated to South West State.

Mr Baafo commended the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for their positive role in the electoral process.

“The success of this process could not happen without the support and coordination of several actors including the international community especially UNSOM, Ethiopian National Defence Force,” Mr. Baafo noted.

South West State has so far filled 65 seats of the 69 allocated. The remaining four are expected to be filled in the next few days.

In Cadaado, Wednesday, Mohamed Ahmed Abtidoon, a businessman and a youth activist, beat four contestants, the incumbent, Asha Haji Elmi inclusive, to win the seat. MP-elect Abtidoon, said his win resonates with the electorate’s desire for change.

“This election is an indication that we want change. The delegates who voted for this seat were looking for someone who will be diligent. I thank the delegates for considering me for this seat,” MP-elect Abtidoon stated.