The leader of Wadajir opposition party, Abdirahman Abdishakur, who is critic of the incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, won a parliament seat in an election held in the town of Dhusamareb in central Somalia on Monday.
It came days after reports emerged that Farmajo had attempted to use the election body to block Abdishakur from the race by marking his seat as part of women’s 30% quota. Galmudug authorities and traditional elders resisted the move.
Several other former prominent officials had been barred from running for parliament in similar schemes. On Sunday, the outgoing deputy speaker of parliament Abdiweli Mudey, a key ally of Farmajo who had played a pivotal role in an attempted extension of President’s mandate last year, was refused to board a flight at Mogadishu airport in an effort to block him from seeking re-election.
Celebratory gunfire has been heard in the town of Dhusamareb on Monday, shortly after election body confirmed that Abdishakur had won a parliament seat and he has taken a stroll in the streets of the town to celebrate with his supporters.
Former President of Hirshabelle State Mohamed Abdi Waare said there was still hope that more opposition members could grab seats in the election despite widespread fraud.
“Regardless of whether you support Abdirahman Abdishakur or not, there is still a glimmer of hope in the election and for Somalia, if he can still win a seat in today’s Somalia. Congratulations!” he tweeted.