Puntland announces start of second phase of Lower House voting as Jubbaland and South West states conclude initial round of polling
The State-level Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (SIEIT) in Puntland has announced that the second phase of voting for 25 members of the House of the People will begin on 14 November.
A dozen members of the House of the People – as the lower chamber of the Federal Parliament is officially called – were elected in Puntland during the first phase of polling that ended on 6 November.
“We will continue with the registration of the candidates and their accreditation tomorrow and the two days after that,” said SIEIT deputy chairman Khalif Aw Ali. “Then we will be ready for the voting process.”
In South West State, voting continued in the capital Baidoa for the third consecutive day. Seven members of the House of the People were elected today, bringing to 23 the total number of lawmakers elected from the state thus far.
The newly elected members of parliament (MPs) include former MP Adan Ibrahim Dhaayow, Hassan Ali Mohamed, Mohamed Jama Mursal, Mohamud Moalim Yahya, Sheikh Shacir Mohamed, Ali Adan Mohamed and Khalid Sheikh Abdullahi.
Voting was held under tight security and monitored by observers.
“The authorities responsible for the electoral process as well as the Somali security forces, in particular the police, deserve a lot credit for the successful management of the process and making sure that this very closely contested process went forward,” said Vikram Parekh, the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia office in Baidoa. “I think it is a good way forward.”
One of the surprise losers in today’s voting in Baidoa was the federal Minister of Finance Mohamed Adan Ibrahim ‘Farkeeti’, who lost by a single vote to Mohamud Moalim Yahya.
“This was a highly contested seat,” said Mr. Yahya, who made his political debut in this year’s electoral process. “Today’s session recorded the highest attendance from all stakeholders because my opponent (Farkeeti) is a very influential and popular person within the community.”
South West SIEIT deputy chairman Sid Ali Abukar Baafo said voting would resume next week.
“Today marks the end of the first phase of voting in which 23 seats were successfully filled. (This) was a pilot phase for us, and we hope to do even better in the next phase which starts on Tuesday,” he said.
In Jubbaland, seven members of the Lower House were elected today, bringing to 20 the total number of representatives elected in the last three days.
The next round of voting is expected to start on Tuesday next week, when another 23 legislators will be elected.