Galmudug and Puntland complete voting for the House of the People

A female delegate casts her vote in the Somaliland election to vote a member of parliament into Somalia's House of the People in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 12 December 2016. UN Photo

12 Dec 2016

Galmudug and Puntland complete voting for the House of the People

Galmudug and Puntland have completed the electoral process for the House of the People, bringing the number of federal states that have concluded the exercise to five.

The voting was concluded on Sunday and Monday in Cadaado and Garowe, the regional capitals of Galmudug and Puntland respectively. Jubbaland, South West State and HirShabelle had already finished voting for House of the People seats.

Puntland concluded its balloting on 12 December with the election of five representatives, three of whom are women. Khalif Aw Ali, the Puntland State Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (SIEIT) Chairman, was delighted that the process in the state had ended without incident.

“We did not witness problems. We will forward the names of the members-elect to Mogadishu in order to beat the electoral process deadline,” Mr. Ali explained. 

The women candidates elected on Monday include the Deputy Chairperson of the National Organization of Somali Women Anab Hassan Omar, Deeqa Said Hassan and Ikram Yussuf Hirsi.

Hafso Abdirashid Diriye, a delegate who took part in the electoral process, Monday, welcomed the election of another three women to the House of the People.

“It is encouraging. I am glad to have taken part in this electoral process as a young lady,” Ms. Hafso remarked.

Galmudug finished its voting on Sunday with the victory of Zahra Omar Maalin, who was elected to the last of the state’s 36 seats

Ms Maalin, who won in an all-women contest, became the ninth woman to be elected in the state, meaning that Galmudug fell shy of the 30 percent women’s quota. The newly elected members of parliament (MP) praised the Somali security agencies and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for ensuring the electoral process took place in a peaceful environment.

“When the country could not realize the one-person-one-vote elections, it was a wise decision for the National Leadership Forum to consider the indirect elections as an option. I thank the electoral team of FIEIT (Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team) and SIEIT (State Indirect Electoral Implementation Team),” the MP-elect stated.

In Mogadishu, delegates from clans in Somaliland elected four more representatives to the House of the People, Monday, bringing the total number of MPs elected from Somaliland to 19 thus far out of 46 seats.

Somaliland MP-elect Abdullahi Osman Duale hailed the manner in which the electoral process has been conducted and spoke of the determination of Somali MPs to serve despite the numerous challenges that facing the incoming federal parliament including security threats.

“The Somali Parliament has been and still continues to operate under very difficult conditions,” noted Mr. Duale. “At one point, MPs died when Al-Shabaab attacked the parliament building but despite all this, MPs are determined to continue working so as to tackle the problems the country faces.”

Female candidates who won voting for Somaliland seats in the lower chamber include Sahra Abdulkadir Abdirahman and Fadumo Hassan Ali.