MOGADISHU – In a surprising turn of events, Somalia has decided to withdraw from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) elections, showing support for Tanzania. Second Deputy Speaker, Abdullahi Omar Abshirow, revealed that this decision was reached after discussions between Dar es Salaam and Mogadishu. It is hoped that this move will put an end to the debate and criticism surrounding Somalia’s withdrawal.
The IPU presidential race took place in Luanda, Angola, and Tanzania’s Tulia Ackson emerged as the clear winner. However, Somalia’s candidate was not informed about the decision to withdraw, causing a heated debate on social media platforms. Abshirow explains that Somalia’s withdrawal is motivated by its desire to join the East Africa Community (EAC), where Tanzania’s support is crucial. The country is in the final stages of becoming a part of the EAC economic bloc, a goal that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been vigorously pursuing.
Abshirow further clarifies that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a letter in August expressing Somalia’s support for Tanzania’s bid for the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) presidency. The Somali candidate willingly agreed to step down, and the Speaker publicly announced Marwa’s withdrawal from the race. It appears that she was aware of the Somali parliament’s decision.
However, Marwa Abdi Bashir, the candidate for the IPU elections, claims that she wasn’t informed about the withdrawal by Speaker Adan Mohamed Noor Madobe, who was responsible for conveying the decision. She expressed her disappointment with the move, as it significantly affected her chances.
Aside from the aspiration to join the East Africa Community, Somalia also relies on Tanzania’s support to secure positions at the African Union and the United Nations. The EAC currently consists of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, with Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo recently joining.
Overall, Somalia’s withdrawal from the IPU elections signifies its commitment to strengthening ties with Tanzania and advancing its interests within the East Africa Community and beyond.