Mr. Abdirizak Khalif Ahmed, the vice-chairman of the Waddane Party, has been elected the new speaker of the Somaliland House of Representatives on Tuesday morning following a closely contested race with Kulmiye Party’s Yasin Faratoon.

In the end, Ahmed’s 42 votes were enough to push him past Faratoon -considered by many to be the favorite – who was able to garner 39 votes.

Faratoon was Somaliland’s former Foreign Minister.

Saed Mire Giire and Ali Hamud Jibril were elected as Ahmed’s first and second deputies.

Ahmed, a native of Las Anod, first entered politics in 2010 under President Silanyo’s administration, where he served as the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism.

In 2015 he joined several cabinet ministers in breaking away from Silanyo’s government and joining the relatively new Waddani Party that was formed in 2016.

He would later go on to serve as the party’s Finance Secretary and later Vice-Chairman.