History has been made today in Somalia as the first members of the Upper House were elected in Galmudug state assembly in central Somalia.
One man however stood in the midst of that history. Abshir Ahmed Mohamed popularly known as Bukhari became the first senator in Somalia’s history as the country is set to have the first Upper House 56 years after independence.
Bukhari who is currently the Chairman and CEO of one of Somalia’s biggest private media houses, Goobjoog Media Group has worked variously in the public sector, civil society and largely as a veteran journalist in a number of international media houses.
His experience in the media spans across continents. He has worked for the British broadcaster, BBC Monitoring and the Qatari based news channel Al Jazeera.
Bukhari has also featured significantly in the civil society having worked for one of Somalia’s most vibrant non –governmental organisations, Centre for Research and Dialogue (CRD) and the UN agency, UN Habitat.
But his role as the Director General at Villa Somalia during the reign of President Shariff Sheikh Ahmed was one of the most critical positions he has handled in service to Somalia. President Ahmed who is currently a candidate for the November 30 Presidential elections was first elected to office in 2009 to 2012. His administration was the last Transitional Federal Government.
With an eye for the youth, Bukhari founded the Somali Youth Parliament which is modeled alongside the Federal Parliament but with 30% female representation.
Today, Galmudug state assembly overwhelmingly voted Bukhari in as the first senator giving him 48 votes out of a possible 88. His opponents Ahmed Abdi Kahiye got 23 votes and the other Kamal Dahir Hassan trailed a distant third with 16 votes. One vote was declared spoilt.
He will represent Galmudug state in the Federal Parliament.