Somalia: Bigwigs battle for parliamentary seats
Somalia–With over 46% of lower house seats filled, Somalia will aim to meet the February 25 deadline on Monday [today] when two states hold key elections in which powerful figures will vie for the country’s prized seats.
The government has yet to fill the 275-member Lower House, which is crucial for legislation and oversight, but the postponed elections have drew worldwide attention as a result of allegations of manipulation and internal strife. Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, the head of the Wadajir party and a long-time opposition figure, will run for the HoP138 seat after being approved by the election team on Sunday [SEIT] following days of allegations and counter-accusations.
Prior to his inauguration, the presidential candidate complained that Villa Somalia was attempting to hinder his election by zoning the seat to meet a 30% women representation criteria. According to reports, the state desired that the position be filled by a woman. According to reports, Abdullahi Kulane alias Jiis, the head of human resources at the National Intelligence and Security Agency, is the mastermind behind the operation. He was also a deputy to former director Fahad Yasin, a bureaucrat at Villa Somalia, at [NISA].
Warsame declared his optimism in winning Monday’s elections as he landed in Dhusamareb, Galmadug’s regional administrative headquarters. When he arrived, he praised the villagers for their kind welcome. “I express my heartfelt thanks to the people of Galmudug, members of the federal and regional legislatures, district administration officials, civil society members, and traditional elders for their warm and excellent welcome,” he said. In Galmadug, the second contest will be HoP40, in which Abdullahi Kulane alias Jiis has also expressed interest. Because of his connection to state and electoral authorities in the region, the Villa Somalia bureaucrat was also expected to win.
Abdullahi Kulane alias Jiis was implicated to the killing of Ikran Tahlil last year, as well as other power abuses. Several opposition candidates had already criticized his appointment, claiming that his presence threatened the election process. Fahad Yasin, the former head of the National Security Agency, is also a candidate for HoP86 in Hirshabelle, where the electoral authority has approved many candidates to vie for 13 seats. His win has the potential to reignite unpleasant political battles in the country.