Somalia elects Speaker, deputies

Saturday April 30 2022
Somali legislators.

Somali legislators take oath of office in Mogadishu on April 14, 2022. PHOTO | COURTESY | SOMALIA PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE


The Opposition in Somalia is riding high after clinching victory in the Wednesday race to control the federal parliament after candidates from their caucuses won the vote to become speakers of the bicameral legislature.

Mohamed Mursal Abdurahman, the outgoing Speaker of the 10th parliament, withdrew his bid leaving seven other all-male candidates.

At the end of the evening at the Afisyoni Hanger, the big tent inside Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle Airport, Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nur ‘’Madobe’’ (not related to Jubbaland’s President Ahmed Mohamed Islam Madobe) and Abdi Hashi were elected to steer Somalia’s bicameral parliament, ending months of anxiety. The next race is the presidential election in May.

The 275-member House of the People also voted in two Deputy Speakers.

Hashi, a native of and now the senior-most politician the self-declared independent Somaliland, retained his post after riding out a challenge mounted by pro-President Mohamed Farmaajo candidates.

Hashi will head the 54-member Senate. Both Houses will now sit a joint session to elect a president in a secret ballot.


Mohamed Nur ‘’Madobe,’’ who will now head the House of the People, also known as the Lower House, is no stranger to parliament having served in the same capacity during the transitional government era in the 2000s.

He was among leaders of the southwestern regions during the 1990s civil war and became a member of the Transitional Federal Parliament established in 2004. In 2007, he became the Speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament and when president Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed resigned in 2008, ‘‘Madobe’’ doubled up as Speaker and interim president of the TFG.

The stakes for the Speakers were very high. Under Somalia’s loose electoral arrangement, the Interim Speaker (the oldest person in the chamber) Abdisalam Dhabancad oversaw the polls, including supervising their oath before the vote.

There were attempts to disrupt the vote and prevent 16 MPs from Gedo allegedly voted in in an illegal “parallel” election from taking the oath of office.

According to a dispatch later from Villa Somalia, President Farmaajo argued that the 16 should only take the oath of office after consensus from the local clans in Jubbaland.

It was unclear who was in charge of security during the Speaker’s vote after President Farmaajo revoked a decision by the PM Hussein Roble to invite the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troops to guard the venue, “in light of the severity of the security challenges impeding the completion of the elections.”

There was a security void following the suspension of the head of the Somali Police Force chief Abdi Hassan Hijaar, for an alleged misconduct. Roble’s government went further and accused Hijaar of having a hand in the incident of the MPs from Gedo.

- Additional reporting by Abdulkadir Khalif