Thirteen elected to the House of the People in the final stages of voting as HirShabelle concludes the process

Election officials explain the voting process to delegates about to vote in Somaliland's election to pick members of parliament in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 10 December 2016. Somalia is currently electing members to the House of the People, who will then go on to elect Somalia's new president along with the Upper House of parliament. UN Photo

10 Dec 2016

Thirteen elected to the House of the People in the final stages of voting as HirShabelle concludes the process

HirShabelle became the third state to conclude the electoral process as another 13 candidates were elected to the House of the People in the state capitals of Jowhar, Cadaado and Mogadishu.

To date, elections have been held for 226 of the 275 seats in the House of the People nationwide, leaving 49 to be decided in the coming days.

Somalia’s youngest state filled the last two seats, bringing its total number of members of parliament (MPs) in both Upper House and House of the People to 46.

Nine candidates were elected on the second day of voting in Mogadishu for House of the People seats assigned to Somaliland and northern regions, and they included three women. Galmudug elected two more members of the lower chamber of the federal parliament during voting held on Friday and Saturday, leaving only one seat that is yet to be decided in that state.

The MPs elected to seats assigned to Somaliland include the outgoing federal Minister of Information Mohamed Abdi Hayir and the female candidates Amina Omar Jamma, Mariam Muhamud Isse and Noriye Aden Isse. The former Assistant Minister of Tourism Abdishakur Ali Mire was one of the victorious candidates in the voting in Galmudug.

In a surprise development, the outgoing federal Minister of Youth and Sports  Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan Nuh won one of the two remaining seats from HirShabelle, even though he had been recently disqualified by the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) from running for a seat assigned to his Jidle clan following his involvement in violence that erupted inside and outside a polling venue in Jowhar on 18 November.

The FIEIT has refused to recognized the outcome of voting for three other House of the People seats in HirShabelle because they belong to clans who failed to reserve one of every three seats assigned to them for exclusively women candidates.

In Mogadishu, MP-elect Jamma won a seat reserved for women candidates by the Muse Abokar sub-clan by garnering all of the 51 votes cast by electoral college delegates.

“I want to congratulate the Somali security institutions for securing the process,” said Ms. Jamma. “Mogadishu has been very peaceful right from the time I arrived from Somaliland, and all this has been possible because AMISOM troops have greatly supported Somali security forces.”

MP-elect Isse praised the decision to establish the 30 percent quota for women’s representation in parliament, saying it has given women a chance to participate in the affairs of the country. Voting results in Somaliland have surpassed the quota so far, with women winning five of the 15 House of the People seats that have been decided.

“This electoral process has given women the opportunity to be members of parliament, and the success achieved by women is unlike before,” said Ms. Isse. “I hope that the country will now experience positive change that will spur development since women are the backbone of any community.”

The Chief of Defence Forces of the Somali National Army, Maj. Gen. Mohamed Aden Ahmed, visited the polling centre in Mogadishu today and pronounced himself satisfied with the arrangements made to secure the voting process.

Mohamed Keynan, the spokesman of the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team, described as unique the electoral process underway in Mogadishu for Somaliland and northern regions, adding that it signified a vote of confidence in the country’s security institutions.

What is special about it is this is happening in Mogadishu,” he said.  “Obviously the security situation of the city was in doubt, I think there is no more doubt about that. This has been the third time that we are holding an election here, first for the Banaadir community and now for the Somaliland community. What that says is the city is capable of holding elections.”