HirShabelle and Galmudug elect seven to the House of the People

Electoral official stamps on the ballot paper during the electoral process to choose members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament in Cadaado, Somalia, on 28 November 2016. UN Photo

29 Nov 2016

HirShabelle and Galmudug elect seven to the House of the People

Seven more candidates have been elected in the past two days to the House of the People in the ongoing electoral process in Galmudug and HirShabelle states.

Two of the five candidates elected in Cadaado on Monday and Tuesday are women. They are Maryam Mohamed Hussein and Maryam Haji Abdi, and these are their first mandates in the next Federal Parliament. They were elected alongside Zakariya Hassan Ali on Tuesday. The three join Ubah Tahlil Warsameh and Ahmed Moalim Fiqi, a former head of the National Intelligence Security Agency (NISA), elected on Monday.

Both Hussein and Abdi contested for the all-female seats, each garnering the highest number of votes cast by the delegates of the electoral college.

“It’s an honor for me to have won this seat. I promise to work for my people. I will use my position as an MP to deliver services to my people. I thank you for giving me this chance to serve you” Ms. Abdi said in her victory speech.

MP-elect Hussein promised to be an MP for all Somalia. “I thank those who voted for me and those who did not. From now onwards, I am the MP for all residents,” Ms. Hussein noted.

In Jowhar, Amina Mohamed Abdi and Hussein Abdi Elmi emerged winners in the elections held on Monday. Ms. Abdi, a former MP, beat off a tough competition from three contestants, who included two men and a woman, to clinch the seat. The MP-elect becomes the sixth woman to be elected in HirShabelle state to date

Ms. Abdi could not hide her joy and thanked the delegates for electing her as their representative.

“Moments ago I was between fear and hope. Fear that I could lose, hope that I could win. I am very happy to have won this seat. This was not an all-female seat. I ran against men and won. I am glad my clan considered me for this seat,” she observed.

Election observers from the National Organization of Somali Women congratulated HirShabelle state for electing the sixth woman, describing the decision as a major step in promoting women’s participation in politics.

“She is a former Member of Parliament. It is a sign of hope and good future. HirShabelle is supposed to have up to 11 seats for women, we now have six. We hope the remaining five will be elected tomorrow and the day after,” Batuulo Sheikh Ahmed, the Chairlady of the National Organization of Somali women said.

In Cadaado, MP-elect Fiqi, who a year ago contested for the seat of President of Galmudug state promised to deliver services to the electorate and promote peace and unity in the country.

“This is the beginning of a tough task that awaits us and a new political journey begins today. It is the beginning for doing what is good for our people and the country. A lot of work is expected of us and I am happy that you have confidence in me to deliver,” Mr. Fiqi stated.

Delegates who took part in the exercise described the process as free and fair and urged Somalis to support the process.

“What we accomplished today only adds to our joy, it is a major progress and we are happy that Galmudug state is doing well,” Sharif Abdi Halane, a delegate stated.

The Galmudug administration is confident that the members of the electoral college would be able to fill the remaining seats before end of the week. The two MPs elected on Monday, brings the number of new legislators in Galmudug to 28, leaving only eight seats to be filled. The regional state has so far elected six women to the House of the People.

HirShabelle, on the other hand, has completed voting for more than two thirds of the seats allocated to clans in the regional state. To date, 26 seats out of the 37 allocated to the clans in HirShabelle have been filled, leaving 11 to be contested in the next few days.