Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-The Speaker of the Federal Parliament of Somalia (House of the People), Adan Mohamed Noor, wrote to the Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Martin Chungong, on Tuesday, announcing the withdrawal of Ms. Marwa Abdibashir Haji from the Union’s presidential race.

In the official letter, the Speaker stated that Ms. Marwa had formally submitted a withdrawal notice to the Federal Parliament of Somalia.

“Regrettably, our candidate, the Hon. Marwa Abdibashir Haji, has officially withdrawn from the aforementioned presidential race. In compliance with this decision, we wish to inform you that the House of the People, in its official capacity, renounces its pursuit of the IPU presidency,” the letter read.

The Speaker further reiterated Somalia’s commitment to collaborating with the IPU towards shared goals, particularly in the realms of peace and democracy.

“I would like to take this opportunity to underscore our unwavering dedication to collaborating with the IPU in the fulfilment of our shared goals. We remain resolute in our aspiration to promote democracy and peace on a global scale,” the letter read in parts.

Ms. Marwa Abdi, the presidential candidate, was surprised by this sudden decision and the subsequent letter written by the Speaker just one day before the elections.

Sources close to her revealed that she has not formally withdrawn from the race, and this letter is a result of mounting pressure from leaders of the federal government.

Ms. Marwa was previously approved by both houses of Somalia’s Parliament, who have given their support for her to contest the IPU’s top seat.

“It fills us with immense pride and satisfaction to announce that we are supporting the Hon. Marwa Abdibashir Haji as a candidate for a pivotal position. Importantly, her candidacy has encountered no objection from any member of Parliament or Senator, reflecting unwavering support for her potential role,” read the acceptance letter dated on 11th September this year.

“In the selection of Ms. Haji, we, along with our deputies and the Speaker of the Senate, made a conscious decision to nominate an MP who will prioritize and adeptly lead IPU’s agenda,” the acceptance letter read.

The withdrawal letter, which came to the public’s attention two days after it was officially written, has sparked concerns among politicians and Somali intellectuals who rallied behind her candidacy.

The Special Presidential Envoy for Drought Response, Hon. Abdirahman Abdishakur, who is also a serving member of Parliament, termed the decision made by the Speaker as unconstitutional and unjust.

“It is a great injustice and regrettable that a Somali woman who is running for the presidency of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a global parliamentary union, in the name of the People’s Assembly, is having her candidacy undermined. Both Houses of Parliament unanimously supported the candidacy of Hon. MP Marwa Abdibashir Haji,” Hon. Abdirahman Abdishakur said.

He stated that the Speaker has no mandate to make such a decision against an approval made by both Houses of Parliament.

“The statement made by Speaker Adan Madobe is unconstitutional because it contradicts the approval of the two houses of Parliament, which had already cleared her for the race. If she does not win this competition, it will be the Speaker’s fault,” he added.

Dr. Ali Said Faqi, a Somali legislator and politician, said that the Speaker has no authority to request a withdrawal without her consent.

“I fail to grasp the significance of this letter. Hon. Marwa was not nominated as a candidate by the Federal Parliament of Somalia; she decided to run on her own accord. Therefore, the Speaker does not possess the authority to request a withdrawal of her candidacy.”

However, the election is expected to be held today on Friday with the participation of Somalia’s candidate, Marwa according to reliable source her team in Luanda, Angola.

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