Somalia’s northern regions will now begin electing representatives to the Senate, after two key leaders agreed on a joint nomination for candidates.
Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Gulaid and the current Speaker of the Upper House (Senate) of the Parliament Abdi Hashi Abdullahi reached an agreement which could stem the chaos recently witnessed over the nominations.
On Tuesday, they published a list of candidates for northern regions, commonly known as Somaliland, who will run for posts for the Upper House of Somalia’s bicameral federal parliament.
The list of 21 candidates was endorsed by Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble who is responsible for the clan-based indirect electoral system.
Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia but has not received recognition for autonomy, usually doesn’t allow elections for Somalia’s parliament on its territory. However, northerners who feel they are part of Somalia have been electing representatives in Mogadishu since 2016.
This time, the election will be overseen by an electoral team formed following the agreement between Mr Gulaid and Mr Abdullahi.
The 21 candidates published on Tuesday will now contest for the 11 seats allocated to represent Somaliland in the 54-member Upper House. Six women will be vying for four of the seats.
Politicians representing Somaliland have been squabbling over the procedures to conduct the election of the 46 MPs to the Lower House and the 11 to the Upper House.
Following intense discussions, the two sides agreed last month to share the leadership of the State Electoral Implementation Team (SEIT), paving the way for the implementation of the Somaliland election.
In the 54-member Upper House, Puntland are Somaliland 11 seats each, Galmudug (8), Hirshabelle (8), South West (8) and Jubbaland (8).
So far, the states have elected 32 members and 22 seats are still unoccupied.
Members of Somalia’s 275-member Lower House will be elected after the Senate polls are concluded. Thereafter, a joint session of the two chambers will hold the presidential election.