The current president of Jubbaland Ahmed Mohamed Madobe has yet again won himself a new term amidst all the riff-raff happening between the other states in Somalia. The presidential voting process had a regional member of the Parliament casting their vote in the state capital Kismayu manned by soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia and Jubbaland security forces.
However, Mogadishu has already made it clear that would not recognize the result, saying the candidate selection process had been unconstitutional and done forcefully.
He has further accused Madobe of interfering in the process and has backed opposition candidates, who were rejected by the electoral commission when they attempted to register.
Madobe will now serve another term of four years. He has been in leadership since 2013.
Jubbaland is in a fulcrum point. It is being seen as the buffer zone which is keeping the Islamist factions at bay from entering Kenya and Ethiopia. While Kenya is supporting the victor, Ahmed Mohamed Madobe, Ethiopia has grown increasingly close to the federal government in Mogadishu.
It is confirmed that Madobe has won 56 of the 74 votes cast in the regional parliament. “I am ready to sit and speak with all people, including the opposition. I will speak and work with anyone who has a complaint,” Madobe told parliament after the vote.
A reaction from the central government is awaited.
Jubbaland is seen as the breadbasket of Somalia and the capital Kismayo is a strategically important port. Its shoreline delineates a hotly contested maritime zone claimed by both Somalia and Kenya with potential oil and gas deposits.
Madobe ousted Shabab from Kismayo in 2012 with the help of Kenyan forces, took power and was first elected in 2015.
However, the winner Madobe has the people of his side, something that was evident from the fact that hundreds of people gathered in the streets of the capital Kismayo after his win was announced, chanting “long live Ahmed Madobe” and waving his picture.