The incumbent Speaker of the federal parliament’s House of the People, Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari, was re-elected to another four-year term during voting that was held in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
Two hundred and fifty-nine members of the House of the People voted in the landmark election that was witnessed by representatives of the international community, key stakeholders and senior federal government officials, and Mr. Jawari received 141 votes to defeat three other candidates for the key legislative post.
In his victory speech, Mr. Jawari appealed to his fellow members of parliament (MPs) to put aside their political differences for the sake of their constituents. “Today there is no winner or loser. It is the Somali people who have won,” he said.
The runner-up in the voting for the Speaker’s post was Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig, who garnered 97 votes, followed by Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim Geesey and Idriss Abdi Dhaqtar, who received 17 votes and two votes, respectively. Two ballots were spoilt.
“It was an honour for me to contest for the seat of Speaker of Parliament. Speaker Jawari is my friend and I congratulate him for the win,” said Mr. Hidig, who pledged to explore other avenues for serving the Somali people.
Members of parliament expressed confidence in Mr. Jawari’s leadership. “I look forward to his leadership, seeing him set up parliamentary structures. We have high expectations of him because he has the experience,” said Mariam Haji Abdi Gedi, an MP from Galmudug state.
Mr. Jawari was elected Speaker of the country’s ninth federal Parliament in 2012, after having previously served as a cabinet minister in the Siad Barre regime.
As Speaker of the House of the People, he will preside over the election of two deputy speakers later this week. Mr. Jawari will then join his counterpart as speaker of the Upper House in overseeing the upcoming presidential election in both houses of the federal parliament.