Somalia: Somaliland elects new House Speaker
HARGEISA, Somalia - Lawmakers in the breakaway region of Somaliland have elected a new House Speaker, who comes at the time the region is facing unprecedented political divisions which have degenerated into fierce war that has left over 200 people dead within the troubled Las Anod city within Sool.
According to local media, Yassin Hajji Faratoon was elected as the new speaker on Sunday at Hargeisa, the regional administrative capital of Somaliland. He scooped 46 votes out of the available 81, defeating Mohamed Khadar Dahir, who managed 35 votes.
At the last minute of mobilization, Ali Hamud Jibril withdrew from the race, citing lack of support from lawmakers who hail from his backyard. It was highly expected to be a tough race given the political interests and regional politics in the opposition-controlled House.
During the 2021 elections after Somaliland held universal suffrage polls across the region, Faratoon lost to Abdirisaaq Khalif Ahmed, won the election. The former speaker resigned recently over ongoing fight at Las Anod, which has left hundreds of residents dead.
The former speaker joined SSC-Khatumo forces to fight for liberation of the Sool region which is pushing to be governed from Mogadishu instead of Hargeisa, the regional capital. He also forfeited his seat and membership of the Waddani party, which managed to beat the ruling Kulmiye party in 2021 polls.
According to information availed to the media, Yasin Hajji Faratoon, born in the contested city of Las Anod in 1947, completed his primary education in the same city and attended Dayaha High School in Erigabo. He is one of the respected scholars in the breakaway region of Somaliland..
Somaliland, which claimed to have attained independence from Somalia, is pushing for international recognition but there are efforts to reconcile the two groups. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud recently called for truce between warring teams, noting that reconciliation would manage to restore order.