Puntland and Jubbaland states elect twelve more MPs in Lower House elections

An MP-elect is carried shoulder-high by jubilant supporters to celebrate his victory in the ongoing electoral process to choose members of the Lower House of the Federal Parliament in Kismaayo, Somalia on 13 November 2016. UN Photo

13 Nov 2016

Puntland and Jubbaland states elect twelve more MPs in Lower House elections

Jubbaland state completed its fifth day of voting for seats in the House of the People with another six members elected to the lower chamber of the federal parliament.

A total of 26 candidates have now been elected to the House of the People from Jubbaland, with only 17 seats still to be decided. All six of the winning candidates in today’s balloting in Kismaayo are men.

“I have to do what my people elected me to do,” said the newly elected member of parliament (MP) Liban Abdiraman Osman after being declared the winner in his contest. “The country needs to restore its infrastructure, enhance education and, most importantly, sort out the security of the country.”

Electoral college delegate Jamila Abdi Malabow said voters sought to choose leaders committed to improving the status of their fellow citizens. “The member of the Lower House we elected today has to address the interests of the Somali public,” said Jamila. “He must not be a person who seeks personal interests. He has to work for the people, for the country, and for religion. ’’

Electoral college delegates in the Puntland capital of Garowe also chose another six MPs in voting for seats in the House of the People, bringing that state’s number of MPs-elect to 18 out of a total of 37. Two of the winning candidates are female.

MP-elect Saido Mohamed vowed to champion women’s rights as a legislator and urged other Somali women to follow her example and register themselves as candidates.

“I want to call on all other Somali ladies to come forward and contest,” said Ms. Saido. “I ask them to compete for the remaining seats.”

University student Shamsa Farah Dahir failed in her bid to win a seat in the lower chamber of parliament that was reserved for only female candidates. But Ms. Dahir remained optimistic about her prospects for victory in a future election.

“This was the first time I contested in an election,” she said. “I wanted to represent my clan (but) I lost, and I congratulate my sister who won.” 

The second day of voting in Galmudug state for seats in the House of the People got off to a delayed start today in the interim capital of Cadaado. The first day of balloting in Galmudug last Thursday also began late, resulting in the election of only three MPs.

Only two MPs were elected in Galmudug state today, bringing the total number of candidates elected to the Lower House to 5 out of 36 seats.