Jubaland parliament re-elects Madobe as state president
The 75-member Jubaland state parliament in southern Somalia overwhelmingly elected Sheikh Ahmed ‘Madobe’ Mohamed Islam as president on Aug. 15th, in a move seen as the Jubaland leader consolidating his power amidst troubled relations with the Federal Government in Mogadishu.
In preparation for the election, the southern Somali port city of Kismayo was under heavy security, with many roads closed and soldiers and armed trucks on the streets on election day.
Jubaland parliament speaker Sheikh Abdi Yusuf declared Ahmed Madobe as president of Jubaland for a four-year term, with 68 MPs voting for him out of a total of 74 MPs present.
The other three candidates received a total of four votes – Osman Haji Feyrus and Hilowle Mohamed Aden received two votes each, while Mohamed Osman Yusuf did not get a single vote.
Jubaland parliament seats are based on the regional state’s 15 districts and the local clans are represented in the parliament.
The election process
On Aug. 6th, Ms. Quresha Mohamed Abdulle issued a statement detailing requirements for presidential candidates, including educational qualifications, personal character and a $7,000 candidate fee.
Two days earlier, on Aug. 4th, the Jubaland parliament nominated a parliamentary Election Committee tasked with steering the state’s presidential election.
Regional delegates first elected Ahmed Madobe as Jubaland leader on May 15, 2013, but that election worsened political tensions with the Federal Government in Mogadishu. The two sides finally struck an agreement in August 2013, with Mogadishu recognizing Ahmed Madobe as leader of the Interim Juba Administration (IJA).
With his two-year mandate up, Mr. Madobe prepared the state for a new presidential election. However, the process has been fraught with many challenges from the onset, including security considerations, balancing clan politics, and managing relations with the Federal Government.
After months of calm, political tensions between Mogadishu and Jubaland spiked after June 6th, when the Federal Parliament in Mogadishu voted to “reject” the formation of Jubaland state parliament. In response, Jubaland declared that it had “suspended relations” with the Federal Government. Puntland state in northern Somalia welcomed Jubaland’s decision and referred to the Federal Parliament’s vote as “unconstitutional”.
Strained relations between the Federal Government and the regional states – such as Puntland and Jubaland – has led to a state of political uncertainty in Somalia, as the nation struggles to recover from conflict and state collapse.