Yes! Sweden Elected Its First Muslim Woman to Parliament – And She’s a Former Somali Refugee!

Somali-Swedish politician Laila Ali Elmi has become the first East African Muslim woman to be elected to the Swedish National Parliament, the Riksdag. “I come from a suburb and grew up in a suburb, the issue that matters to me is school policy. In the socioeconomically deprived areas, it’s pretty bad schools. We have to focus on the school and that’s the question that I will most focus on when I enter the Riksdag,” the politician said, reported.


Running on a Green Party ticket, Elmi will represent the Angered District in Gothenburg. Gothenburg’s Angered district is home to 14,000 Somali community members and the largest East African community in Sweden, thus making Elmi the presumptive Angered district’s Riksdag representative.

The politician was born in Somalia and her family fled to Sweden in the early 1990s, when civil war tore the country apart. It will not be her first time representing her people, as she was a member of the Angered district council since 2014. Elmi’s party, the ‘Green Party’, is the fourth-largest party in the 349-member Riksdag, with 25 seats.

Elmi now joins the long list of Somali-born political leaders making history and contributing greatly to their communities. The list includes America’s Ilhan Omar, who is hoping to represent Minnesota in the Congress, and Somali-born Magid Magid, who also made history by becoming the youngest mayor of Sheffield. Just like Elmi, he had served as a councilor and later served as deputy mayor before his election.


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Written by Mvslim

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