North Eastern’s sole female MP Sophia Abdi loses seat


Sophia Abdi Noor, the only female Member of Parliament elected in North Eastern has lost her Ijara parliamentary seat to newcomer Abdi Ali Abdi of the National Alliance Party.

The move leaves the region without any elected woman MP apart from the woman representative positions.

Earlier during the campaigns period, candidates in the region decried what they called ‘unfair’ treatment by their male counterparts when it comes to political leadership.

Negotiated democracy, which is largely practiced in the region is also said to be playing the major role in denying women political leadership oppotunities, since the councils of different clans who endorse different candidates for political seats are male dominated making it difficult for aspiring women to sail through.

Sophia, a former nominated ODM MP made history in 2017 after she became the first female elected in Northeastern after several attempts.

However this time, she only garnered 3,682 votes, losing to Abdi of NAP-K who got 7,471. Garissa County Assembly Speaker Ibrahim Abass who was also in the race on an ODM ticket came in second with 6,481.

Sophia conceded defeat and congratulated the youthful MP-elect moments after the returning officer declared the results yesterday at Masalani tallying center.

The new entrant on the political scene in Ijara floored the two seasoned politicians in the hotly contested seat that also attracted interests in the gubernatorial candidates in the county.

Mr Abdi pulled through a massive campaign across the expansive constituency to emerge the winner against prediction of many that the contest was between the two veteran politicians.

“He had been with grassroots people especially during drought, he came through for people who had lost a lot of animals during dry spell that could be the reason he defeated veteran politicians,” said Mohamud Hassan, local political commentator.


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