Angola, Luanda(Mogadishu24)-Ms. Marwa Abdibashir Haji revealed on Friday that the letter from the Somali Parliament Speaker, Adan Mohamed Noor, has damaged her candidacy for the presidential seat of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

She finished fourth in the race with 11 votes, behind Senegal (59 votes), Malawi (61 votes), and the Tanzanian candidate who emerged victorious with 172 votes in yesterday’s IPU presidential election.

“I was contesting for this position to show the world that Somalia can also participate in such a global election. I was very confident that I would win this race and make our people proud, serving Somalia’s interests on the global stage,” said MP Marwa Abdibashir, the IPU’s presidential candidate.

Ms. Marwa, who became the first Somali MP to vie for this post, stated that the withdrawal letter written by the parliamentary speaker prompted her to lose support from parliamentarians across the world.

“We went to Angola ahead of the elections, and we were given offices. The other candidates noticed how busy my office was and the support I was getting from the parliament members. But less than 48 hours before the election, I was called to the Secretariat’s office and shown the letter written by the Speaker of the Somali Parliament,” she explained.

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

“I have already secured the support of both Houses of the Somali Parliament, but this letter has jeopardized my candidacy. Other parliamentarians have withdrawn their support, citing concerns about collaborating and maintaining working relations within our own parliamentary; they stated that they cannot collaborate with someone who lacks support from her own parliament,” she added.

She pointed out that she would present her case at the Somali Parliament and seek accountability and answers on what prompted the speaker to write the letter that ruined her candidacy.

On Tuesday, the Speaker of the Federal Parliament of Somalia (House of the People) wrote to the Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, announcing the withdrawal of Ms. Marwa Abdibashir 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 Marwa Abdibashir Haji, has officially withdrawn from the aforementioned presidential race.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 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 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.

Political analysts have questioned the speaker’s role in overturning a decision made by both Houses of Parliament and requesting withdrawal without the consent of Ms. Marwa.

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