Somalia: Jubaland picks new parliament speaker; delays presidential polls
KISMAYO, Somalia – Lawmakers in Somalia’s southern Jubaland state have elected a speaker for the new parliament, a key step toward the region’s upcoming presidential election, Garowe Online reports.
Saturday’s vote by 73 MPs saw the re-election of Abdi Mohamed Abdirahman as house speaker after garnering 55 votes while his only contender Hussein Shinow Ali received 18 votes during the first round of the ballot.
The MPs also elected Aden Khalif Haji elected as the 1st deputy while Abdi Baley Hussein becomes the second, according to the election results to complete their formal leadership election on Saturday.
Abdirahman whop has been in power since the establishment of the first parliament in 2015 and his two deputies were sworn in the Jubaland state chief justice in the voting hall to assume office immediately.
The vote for the assembly leadership came hours after Jubaland polls agency reopened the registration of candidates for three more days and postponed Monday’s presidential election to August 22, 2019.
The move follows the request of the international community delegation led by UN envoy for Somalia, James Swan that visited Kismayo last Thursday and met with stakeholders on the electoral process.
The UN, IGAD, and AU have called for peaceful and transparent polls in Jubaland and urged all stakeholders to address disagreements through dialogue to ensure public confidence in a process.
The incumbent president, Ahmed Madobe who is seeking re-election for the third time in office is among several candidates vying for the top seat of Jubaland despite opposition by Somalia's Federal Government.