Four more candidates elected to the House of the People as Somaliland and northern regions seek to complete the electoral process

MP-elect Hussein Isse Arab delivers a speech moments after being declared winner during the electoral process for Somaliland and the northern regions held in Mogadishu on Thursday, December 22, 2016. UN Photo.

22 Dec 2016

Four more candidates elected to the House of the People as Somaliland and northern regions seek to complete the electoral process

Four more candidates from Somaliland and northern regions were voted into the House of the People today, raising the number of members of parliament (MPs) elected from that part of the country to 30.

Somaliland and the northern regions now have to fill 16 more seats in the House of the People in order to complete the voting exercise.

Those elected in the latest round of voting are Hussein Isse Arab, a former Defense Minister who retained his parliamentary seat, fellow incumbent MP Sa’eed Mohamed Mohamud, Abdirisak Dahir Mohamud and Biihi Iman Ege.

Mr. Arab garnered 47 of the 51 votes cast and praised the work of the Somali Police Force and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for providing security.

“They have succeeded in securing the process right from the start and I thank them because without them, this would not have been possible. I also thank the delegates and clan chiefs who defied all odds and took part in this exercise,” the MP-elect stated.

Mr. Mohamud, another incumbent who was re-elected with 43 votes, said the country had refuted pessimists who had doubted Somalia’s ability to conduct an electoral process.

“It is clear that the country is on the road to democracy. The Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) has done a commendable job. Right from the start, there were sections of people who said Somalia cannot hold the elections, but you can see that they have been proved wrong,” the MP-elect observed.

Mr. Ege said Somalia needs more newcomers to politics like himself to move the country forward. “I call on all the Somali people to unite so that we serve the nation and pull it out of these problems. We need new effort from people who are fresh,” the MP-elect noted.

Electoral college delegate Nasrin Hassan Ismail also welcomed the organization and outcome of today’s voting.

“The situation has been calm, devoid of conflict or controversy. Everything went on like clockwork,” she said.

AMISOM Police Coordinator of Operations Emmanuel Mukama attributed the peaceful conditions of today’s voting to meticulous planning and coordination between Somali security forces and AMISOM.

“Because of this deployment and this arrangement and planning, we have not experienced any security incidents or threat attacking our electoral center,” Mr. Mukama added.

Somaliland and the northern regions have yet to begin voting to fill the 11 seats allocated to them in the Upper House.