Planning Minister Gamal Hassan has won the Warsangeli clan parliamentary seat securing 49 out of the 51 votes in a by-election held in Garowe.
National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) chair Halima Yarey declared Hassan winner in the just concluded poll. He replaces Dhahir Farah who stepped down in September and reportedly took a job in Somali embassy in Djibouti.
Hassan’s win adds Prime Minister Hassan Khaire’s influence in Parliament as over 50 out of 66 ministers and assistants now sit in both Houses of Parliament.
Khaire’s first cabinet last March was made up of 42 legislators but in a deliberate move to bolster influence in Parliament, the PM is fast weaning his cabinet of bureaucrats pushing as many of them to parliament.
Having sailed almost through the second year in office without a no-confidence motion successfully finding way into the August House, Khaire is gradually instituting a strong presence in the legislature. With ambitions of challenging his boss President Mohamed Farmaajo in the 2020 elections, Khaire’s stay in office into 2019 is crucial to secure considerable political base.
Khaire successfully ousted former speaker and political foe Professor Mohamed Jawari and installed his pick, former Defense Minister Mohamed Mursal.