Somalia parliament elects first woman as deputy speaker

Sadia Yasin Samatar

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s parliament on Thursday elected opposition MP Sadia Yasin Samatar as the first deputy speaker of the Lower House of parliament in a heavily contested vote held at air force hanger inside Mogadishu airport.

Sadia beat her rival Mohamed Ali Omar Ananug, also an opposition figure, by 30 votes after MPs allied with President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo had rallied their support behind her.

In a separate vote, Abdullahi Omar Abshirow won the position of second deputy speaker of parliament after securing 146 votes against 95 for his rival Mahad Abdalla Awad, who had held the post over the past nine years.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and his Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, who have been locked in a bitter power struggle over the past months, have congratulated to the newly elected officials.

The United States also congratulated Sadia and Abdullahi on their win and called for the immediate conduct of an upcoming presidential vote, that will pit the incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo against opposition rivals, including his predecessors.

We congratulate the newly elected leaders of Somalia’s parliament as they assume their responsibilities at this critical time,” US embassy in Mogadishu tweeted. “We urge the quick, peaceful, credible conclusion of the final step in Somalia’s electoral process: election of the president.”

On Wednesday, Somali parliament chose senior opposition figure Sheikh Mohamed Nur, popularly known as Adan Madobe, as its speaker after a candidate favored by Somali President Hassan Abdinur conceded defeat. The vote was delayed for multiple hours due to a standoff between police forces loyal to Farmajo and African Union peacekeepers. read more

Somalia’s international partners, including the United States joined the chorus of congratulations for the elected leadership of parliament.

After the protracted delays and obstacles in choosing the members of parliament, the election of the parliamentary leadership is a major achievement. We appreciate the efforts of all Somalis who contributed to completion of these parliamentary votes,” Somali international partners said.

We urge that election of the President now be completed promptly, peacefully, and credibly, so that Somalia’s elected leaders can address national priorities for the benefit of all its citizens.”

On Tuesday, Somalia’s Senate elected a veteran politician and critic of the incumbent President Abdi Hashi Abdullahi as its speaker, in what analysts said heralded the dimming sway of the outgoing administration in the legislative branches of the government. read more

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