Jubbaland state has announced its first two senators to join Somalia's 11th Parliament, as the country kicked off elections for representatives of the Upper House.
Mr Ilyas Bedel Gabose won first after defeating Mohamed Ahmed Sayid, garnering 55 votes against his 17 votes in an early race on Thursday morning.
In the second seat, incumbent Abdullahi Skheikh Ismail Fartaag had an easy victory after his main challenger Ahmed Mohamed Jama dropped from the poll.
“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.
The two are among four senators due to be elected on Thursday in the first round of voting. Jubbaland state is allocated eight seats in Somalia's Upper House.
Ahmed Madobe, the Jubbaland President, had released only nine contenders for the four seats, while delaying on the other four seats to allow “vetting” of candidates, his office said.
Senators are usually voted in by elected representatives in the local legislatures of every state.
Jubbaland’s parliamentary Speaker, Abdi Mohamed Abdirahman, certified the two senators as the first in the 11th Parliament, which also signaled the end of term of the tenth.