Garoowe (terrorfreesomalia) – The new parliament in Somalia’s Puntland state has elected Mr. Said Hassan Shire as Puntland Parliament’s new Speaker of the House during a parliament vote on Saturday in the state capital of Garowe, Garoowenews Online reports.
The parliament session opened at 9:00AM local time, with all 66 MPs present to listen as candidates presented their plan if elected as Speaker and Deputy Speakers.
Five candidates competed for the position of Speaker, namely: 1) MP Said Hassan Shire of Sanaag/Haylaan region; 2) MP Abdirashid Mohamed Hersi of Mudug region; 3) MP Abdihakim Mohamed Ahmed (Dhoobo) of Sanaag/Haylaan region; 4) MP Ahmed Ali Hashi of Sanaag/Haylaan region; and 5) MP Mohamed Ali Guled of Sanaag/Haylaan region.
The Election Committee, consisting of Puntland MPs chaired by MP Saadiq Abshir Garaad, announced the results from the first round of voting, as follows:
1. MP Said Hassan Shire (17 votes)
2. MP Abdirashid Mohamed Hersi (17 votes)
3. MP Abdihakim Mohamed Ahmed (16 votes)
4. MP Ahmed Ali Hashi (9 votes)
5. MP Mohamed Ali Guled (6 votes).
MP Garaad announced that one vote was spoiled during the first round of voting.
The top three Speaker candidates with the highest votes proceeded to the second round of voting, and MP Garaad announced the vote results as follows:
1. MP Said Hassan Shire (23 votes)
2. MP Abdirashid Mohamed Hersi (23 votes)
3. MP Abdihakim Mohamed Ahmed (20 votes)
The two top Speaker candidates with the highest votes – namely MP Shire and MP Hersi – proceeded to the third round of voting. MP Garaad, speaking for the Election Committee, announced that MP Shire won 40 votes and was declared as the Speaker of the House, while the runner-up MP Hersi received 26 votes.
MP Shire was the Puntland Minister of Livestock and Animal Husbandry since 2010, while runner-up MP Hersi was Parliament Speaker between 2008-2013.
Speaking after his election victory, new Speaker Shire said: “I thank all the MPs who voted for me and those who did not. I thank all the MPs who competed in this vote and I hope that they will cooperate with me, as I promised to cooperate with them if I lost the vote. I also thank the Puntland security forces for defending Puntland”.
MP Hersi and other Speaker candidates conceded the election result and congratulated the new Speaker, Mr. Shire.
Puntland MPs also elected MP Abdihamid Sheikh Abdisalam of Bari region as First Deputy Speaker and MP Haji Hussein Yasin of Sool region as Second Deputy Speaker. While returning MP and new First Deputy Speaker Abdihamid is new to the Speaker post, Second Deputy Speaker Haji Hussein retained his post that he held since 2008.
Puntland’s presidential election is slated for January 8, 2014, when the 66-member Puntland Parliament is scheduled to elect the next President and Vice President of Puntland Government.
The vote was televised live from parliament hall in Garowe by London-based Somali satellite TV station, Somali Channel TV.
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