Voting for Lower House members from Jubbaland and South West states enters second day, HirShabelle conducts Upper House balloting

A delegate casts her vote during the electoral process to choose members of the Lower House of the Somali Parliament in Kismaayo, Somalia on November 9, 2016. AMISOM Photo / Awil Abukar

9 Nov 2016

Voting for Lower House members from Jubbaland and South West states enters second day, HirShabelle conducts Upper House balloting

Another fourteen members of the Federal Parliament’s House of the People were elected from Jubbaland and South West states Wednesday, and voting for the eight Upper House seats representing the recently formed HirShabelle federal member state was completed in the state capital of Jowhar.

Two of the eight members of parliament (MPs) chosen for the House of the People in South West state today were female, and two more women were elected to the lower chamber from Jubbaland state.

To date, eight women candidates have won seats in the House of the People out of a total of 40 that have been elected nationwide since balloting began in Puntland on 5 November. That falls well shy of the 30 per cent parliamentary quota for women that had been previously established by the National Leadership Forum.

One of the newly elected female Members of Parliament promised to use her new position to achieve positive change.

“My promise is to help my community and the wider society in addressing the gaps and challenges in sectors like education, women, health, female empowerment and increased participation in politics and development”, said Samra Ibrahim, a 31-year-old relative newcomer to Somali politics who was elected in Baidoa.

Another newly elected MP-elect said he hopes to use his influence to promote development in South West state.

“My objective is to use my new position to work with other MPs in tackling poverty and illiteracy that continue to affect my community”, said Sandheere Mohamed Iftin.

South West state has thus far elected 15 members of its total allocation of 69 House of the People seats.

“We have so far exceeded the expectations of everyone as far as delivery by the State-Level Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (SIEIT) is concerned. Elections are being held in a calm and secure environment. We will keep up the momentum until our work is done,” said Sid Ali Abukar Baafo, the deputy chairman of the South West SIEIT.

In Jubbaland state, six members of Parliament were elected, bringing the number of MPs elected in the state to 13 out of a total of 43 seats allocated to the state.  

“I am really happy that I have been successful in my bid for Parliament, and I thank God and those who voted for me. I can say that the election was free and fair,’’ said MP-elect Sa’adia Muse Abdullahi, one of the two female candidates who were elected today in the Jubbaland capital of Kismaayo.

Voting for Upper House seats representing HirShabelle finally opened in the town of Jowhar. Two of the eight seats at stake were won by women candidates, bringing to 43 the number of Upper House seats that have already been decided nationwide.

One of the Upper House MPs elected in Jowhar today pledged to represent his constituents’ interests in Parliament.  “As the first member from HirShabelle to be elected to the Upper House, I will endeavour to serve you,” said Osman Ahmed. “It is an historic moment, and I promise to work hard for my people.”

Abdinur Farey failed to win his bid for the Upper House election but nonetheless praised the manner in which polling was conducted.

“I am happy to say that the election was fair. I want to confirm that I have no reservations regarding the election of my brother, the winner of this seat. I congratulate my brother,” he said.