New Zealand’s First African MP, Ibrahim Omer, ‘Overwhelmed’ by Win

After becoming New Zealand’s first-ever African Member of Parliament, Ibrahim Omer, has reacted to the win that has left him “overwhelmed”.

Omer fled his home country, Eritrea, to a refugee camp in Sudan from where he moved to New Zealand.

The 42-year-old Eritrean represents Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party, who romped to victory giving her political party its biggest win in the last half-century.

Speaking on his victory in the election held last month, the African-Kiwi said, “I’m very overwhelmed, very excited at the same time because this is for us as a country and for me as a person and for the community that I represent here in New Zealand.”

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Ibrahim spent years working as an interpreter in a Sudanese camp and later the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) resettled him in New Zealand.

He says his presence in parliament will be benefiting the community.

“I suppose to me the reason why I was doing it was a way of also giving back to the society, to the community, to the country that gave me so much.

“At the end of the day, the tax payers funded my arrival to New Zealand so I I needed to say thank you by doing something nice for the communities and the country,” he said.

After last month’s victory, Omer had described his election as an MP as a huge privilege which comes with huge responsibility.

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“This is a collective victory for all of us,” he explained at the time. “People have put their faith in me and I don’t take that for granted. I will work hard.”

He promised to “fight for people in the positions he has been in to have better opportunities for a decent life” during his campaigns, and dedicated his new role promotion to “ the low paid workers” and “former refugees”.


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