Members of the Somali People’s House (lower house of the bicameral parliament) on Thursday elected Ms. Saadia Yasin Haji Samatar as their First Deputy Speaker.
p>< p>Ms. Samatar will become the first woman to be elected head of parliament in a largely patriarchal Somali society.
In the last ballot, Ms. Samatar received 137 votes, beating Mr. Mohamed Ali Omar aka Ananug, who 107 reached.
Shortly after the election of Ms. Samatar was announced, Villa Somalia, the state house in Mogadishu, issued a statement congratulating President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo on her achievement.>
On Wednesday, Farmaajo also issued a statement congratulating Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nur aka Madobe, who was elected Speaker of the 11th Parliament of Somalia.
Similar congratulatory messages came from the office by Prime Minister Mohamed Hussei n Roble and many political figures.
Ms. Batula Ahmed Gaballe, Chair of the influential Somali Women Association, welcomed the election of Ms. Samatar.
“The election of Ms. Samatar to the Ko – Chair of the Somali Parliament is the first step towards increasing the participation of women in decision-making at the national level,” she said.
Later Thursday night, lawmakers voted for the position of second deputy speaker.Mr Abdullahi Omar Abshirow won the contest by 146 votes against the 91 he received by the departure of Second Deputy Speaker Mahad Abdalla Awad.
On Tuesday, the Upper House of Parliament (Senate) its speaker and two deputy speakers, while the House of Commons elected its speaker and two deputy speakers on Wednesday and Thursday.
In a joint statement, Somalia’s international supporters welcomed the election of d he parliamentary leadership of Somalia.
The international partners who signed the declaration are the new African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia , European Union (EU), Finland, France, Germany, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ireland, Italy, Kenya, League of Arab States (LAS), Norway, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and United Nations.
“(We) welcome the successful elections for senior positions in the House of Lords on 26 April 2022 and the House of the People on April 27-28. April 2022,” they said. “We congratulate the newly elected Speakers and Deputy Speakers who are assuming their important responsibilities at this critical moment for Somalia.”
“Following the protracted delays and obstacles in the election of MPs, the election of Parliament is leadership a great achievement,” the statement added, calling on the leadership to expedite the presidential election process.
“We urge that the presidential election be completed now without delay, peacefully and credibly so that Somalia elected leaders can address national priorities for the benefit of all its citizens.”
In Somalia’s indirect elections, once the lower and upper houses of parliament have elected their speakers and deputy speakers, the two chambers are required to have a joint hold session to vote for President.
Once speaker voting is complete, attention turns to n un to the presidential elections, the date of which has yet to be determined.
Competition is expected to be tough this year. Incumbent President Farmaajo is expected to be challenged by strong candidates from the coalition of (opposition) presidential candidates, which include former Presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, as well as former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and Puntland State President Said Abdullahi Deni, belong and other former ministers.