Lower House elections for Somalia’s federal parliament reach the halfway mark, as thirteen more MPs are elected in four states

South West state added five more MPs to the House of the People today, among them one woman, in elections held in the administrative capital, Baidoa.

To date, South West state has filled 43 seats in the Lower House, out of an allocation of 69 seats, of which five have been won by women.

The Federal-level Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) predicts that the remaining 26 seats will be filled within the next five days.

“South West state is among the states strongly pushing for inclusivity; ensuring special seats allocated to women are preserved only for women,” Mr. Adan Abdinasir Mohamed, a member of FIEIT said.

He acknowledged the competitiveness of the female only seats, which he said had attracted highly qualified women.

In today’s election, Jawahir Adaawe Abdi emerged victorious in the all-female race, getting 37 votes against her opponents Sacdio Mohamed Abdi and Fahdi Mohamed Abdulahi, who got 2 votes and 12 votes respectively.

“We have had a male dominated parliament for so long, there has been no significant impact on the communities. This is the time to ensure qualified women join the political process, to bring positive change,” MP-elect Jawahir noted.

In elections held in Jowhar, the capital of HirShabelle state, three MPs among them one woman, emerged victorious in the balloting process.

The female MP-elect Farhiyo Mumin promised to support the farming communities in Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions. “These two regions (Hiraan and Middle Shabelle) are the richest in our country. We have sea and land, a river, farmlands and animal resources that need to be harnessed,” she explained.

HirShabelle state has to date filled 17 seats out of an allocation of 37 seats, four of which are occupied by women.

“We have 20 more seats to fill. We are doing well on the quota for women, as we now have four ladies,” noted Mr. Osman Bareey, the SIEIT spokesperson.

Puntland state started the third phase of the Lower House elections today, electing 3 MPs, in an exercise held in the capital Garowe.

21 members of the Lower House have been elected to date in Puntland state, out of an allocation of 37 seats.

“This is a big responsibility and I hope I will live up to your expectations,” one of Puntland’s MPs-elect Feisal Abdille said.

In the seaside capital of Kismaayo, in Jubbaland state, two members of the Lower House, one of them a woman were elected to the federal parliament.

The seat preserved for women was clinched by Sagal Abdirizak Isak Bihi. Sagal is a former deputy director of Radio Bar-Kulan, and has worked with several Government departments as an advisor.

She promised to champion the cause for women and the youth.

“Our youth are unemployed, they are being exploited in many ways and used for organized crime. As a youth and a woman, these issues are close to my heart,” she said shortly after her election

“We need to empower young women, we need to make sure that they go to school, we need to show them the sky is the limit” The total number of women MPs-elect in the Lower House, across all states, now stands at 24.