The Somali Police Force (SPF), in collaboration with African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Police, on Tuesday, ensured the successful holding of elections for members of parliament from Somaliland.
AMISOM is part of the National Elections Security Taskforce, which is the highest security organ tasked with securing Somalia’s ongoing national elections together with Somali security agencies. The task force is chaired by the SPF, with support from AMISOM Police.
On Tuesday at the General Kahiye Police Academy in Mogadishu, which served as the polling center, SPF and AMISOM Police officers formed a cordon around the polling center, screened electoral delegates, and provided general security of all persons involved in the process.
Speaking after each of the nine members of parliament were elected by 101 clan delegates, AMISOM Election Security Advisor for Banadir Region, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Abas Sharif Kamara said the process had proceeded and concluded without hindrance or disturbance.
“Our role here is to ensure that we support the Somali Police Force to secure this process in order to achieve an outcome of free, fair, and credible elections. We have to see that everything is in place in terms of security of the voters, security of candidates and even poll workers and to ensure that they operate in a safe and secure zone,” ASP Kamara said.
Somalia has set itself a minimum benchmark of 30 percent women’s representation in Parliament so as to improve participation and representation of women in decision-making and in politics. Of the nine MPs elected on Tuesday, three were women.
Newly-elected parliamentarian, Asha-koos Mahamud Omar, said her election was the culmination of wider efforts, supported by various partners, advocating for more women representation in national politics.
“I urge Somali women not to be fazed. They should be inspired by the drive and determination shown by all the women who have competed in these elections so far, and by those who have been voted into parliament from across the federal states. My election today is a victory for Somali women in our quest for more representation in parliament,” she said.
The Federal Parliament of Somalia consists of an Upper and a Lower House, with elections for the Upper House already concluded. The ongoing elections are for the Lower House, also known as the House of the People.
One of the highly contested seats went to Saleeban Ali Hussein, a youthful politician, who said it has always been his desire to serve the people.
“My win is a clear indication that young people have an important role to play in rebuilding Somalia. I am a living example to young people that they can join politics and get an opportunity to bring in fresh ideas that will help Somalia develop, prosper and rebuild as a country,” Hussein said.
The Deputy Commander of the Somali Police Force in Banadir Region Lt. Colonel Said Ali Mahamud said it was through close collaboration with AMISOM that the electoral process has gone on without major security disruptions.
“Today’s polling went on well, thanks to the close collaboration with AMISOM Police who provided security for both the inside and around the venue. We had no security incident at all. We are very grateful for AMISOM’s support and our working relationship on election security matters has been excellent.”