Somalia’s Jubbaland state has announced its first four senators to join the 11th Parliament of Somalia, as the country kicked off elections for representatives in the Upper House.
Mr Ilyas Bedel Gabbose won first after defeating Mohamed Ahmed Sayid, 55 to 17 votes in an early race on Thursday morning.
In the second seat, incumbent Abdullahi Sheikh Ismail Fartaag had an easy victory after his challenger Ahmed Mohamed Jama dropped out of the race.
“Congrats to the first 2 senators elected to Somalia’s Upper House of Parliament in 2021, Senators Ilyaas Gabbose and Abdullahi Fartaag, two gentlemen who are highly qualified and capable to hold such an office,” Mursal M Khalif, Jubbaland’s Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, tweeted on Thursday.
In the next round of voting, Abirizak Mohamed Osman and Hassan Iman Iftin were also elected senators.
Jubbaland is the first state to elect senators to the 11thParliament.
Ahmed Madobe, the Jubbaland President, had released only nine contenders for the first four seats, but delayed the announcement of contenders for the other four seats to allow “vetting” of candidates, his office said.
On Tuesday, Madobe had issued the list of the candidates who have submitted their intention to contest for the 8 senate seats allocated for the state.
The statement signed by the state’s president contained part of the candidates that are eager to contest. Out of the nine names in the circulated letter, only one woman featured.
The Senators are normally chosen by elected representatives in the local legislatures of every state.
President Madobe is expected to issue another letter, stating the names and election schedules for the remaining 4 seats, since Jubbaland like Galmudug, South West and Hirshabelle is allocated 8 seats in the Somalia Federal Upper House.
Puntland and Somaliland are allocated 11 seats each, for Somalia to have 54 seats in the Upper House.