Seven more candidates have been voted into the House of the People to represent Somaliland and northern regions in the latest round of voting, bringing to 26 the total number of members of parliament (MPs) thus far elected from that part of the country.
Six candidates were elected today, while one was elected on 14 December. A round of voting scheduled for last Friday was suspended when chaos erupted at the polling center amid disputes among members of clans over delegate lists and other issues.
Three of the victorious candidates in the balloting today are women, raising to ten the number of female MPs-elect from Somaliland and northern regions thus far. That translates into a 38 per cent share for women among the 26 candidates elected to the House of the People, well above the 30 per cent parliamentary quota for women established by the National Leadership Forum (NLF).
MP-elect Ahmed Mohamed Jama won the only balloting held last Wednesday, and he called for unity among his compatriots to promote the development of Somalia.
“I urge all Somalis to unite. We need to be self-reliant because no one will do things for us,” he stated.
MP-elect Osman Elmi Boqorre contrasted today’s orderly voting with a previous attack on the same venue that he survived, and he expressed thanks for the security arrangements put in place for this year’s electoral process.
“It was in this hall that a few years ago we passed the Sharia law but came under a mortar attack, causing us to flee. Many people were injured but today, thanks be to Allah, we are having a very peaceful election with nothing to fear,” he said in his victory remarks.
Fadumo Ismail Hussein garnered 47 of the ballots cast in her election and expressed her gratitude for the women’s representation quota that was adopted by the NLF.
“I thank the people who upheld the 30 percent quota representation for women in parliament. The decision was good for women. I hope to actively represent my people in parliament and contribute to the development of the country,” MP-elect Hussein stated.
Saeed Jama Ali, a member of the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT), echoed Ms. Hussein’s remarks on the importance of the parliamentary gender quota, even though the final nationwide results are expected to fall short of the 30 per cent goal.
“In the previous parliament we had only 14 percent representation of women but at the moment, even as the exercise is still going on, we have over 20 percent women representation. The election of women reflects the good relations that exist between women and their communities,” Mr. Ali observed.
Somaliland still has to conduct voting for 20 remaining seats in the House of the People and has yet to begin elections for 11 seats for the Upper House.
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