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Somalia elections.. 39 candidates vie for the “chair of the president”

The “Presidential Merit Organizing Committee”, consisting of 17 members of both houses of parliament, announced the final and shortlisted list of candidates and includes 39 candidates, including one woman, veteran parliamentarian Fawzia Yousef Haji Adam.

According to analysts, the competition will be fierce between the outgoing president, Muhammad Abdullah Farmajo, and his opponents, who succeeded in seizing many seats in the elections to the parliament, consisting of 329 members, who will elect the president for the next 4 years.

Somalia has been suffering, since late 2020, in a state of political tension, as a result of disagreements between the government on the one hand, and the heads of regions and the opposition on the other, over some details of the mechanism for holding the elections.

A year and a half ago, the international community doubled down on its calls for the completion of the elections, considering that the delay is distracting the authorities from combating the terrorist Al-Shabaab movement, which has been waging an insurgency in the country for 15 years.

political polarization

The Somali academic, Abdul Wali Sheikh Mohammed, said that changing the election method should be one of the next president’s priorities, in addition to drafting a new constitution, controlling security in the country and expanding the political partnership among all components of the country.

Sheikh Mohammed added, in statements to “Sky News Arabia”, that the current administration led by the outgoing president, Mohamed Farmajo, has plunged the country into a state of severe polarization, especially in light of his floundering decisions during the past two years and his entry into clashes even with the prime minister, stressing that Farmajo failed to achieve. Any success on the security, political and economic levels.

He pointed out that Farmajo lost the position of the position after the recent crisis with Prime Minister Hussein Robley, when he sought to overthrow him late last year and suspend his powers, but he failed to implement his decisions in light of wide domestic and international support for Robley.

He stressed that despite all these consequences, access to the elections is a positive matter and all candidates must accept its results so that the country does not enter a phase of chaos awaiting terrorist elements to further expand their influence in a country witnessing widespread unrest.

Curfew

And on Saturday, the Somali National Police announced the imposition of a curfew from tonight until next Monday morning, ahead of the scheduled presidential elections.

The Somali National Police spokesman said in a press conference: “All the streets of the capital will be closed from three in the evening on Saturday until twelve in the afternoon next Monday.”

In recent months, Al-Shabaab has intensified its attacks, especially through two bombings in the center of the country that killed 48 people on March 24, and then a major attack on an African Union base last week in which 10 people were killed, according to an official toll.

39 presidential candidates

39 candidates, including one woman, are competing for the position of the country’s tenth president, including the outgoing president, Mohamed Abdullah Farmajo, the two former presidents, Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and the former prime minister, Hassan Ali Khairy.

The former president of Galmudug state, Abdul Karim Hussein Gouled, the president of Puntland state, Saeed Abdullah Deni, and three opposition party leaders are the leader of the Wadjar party, Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Shakur and Rasmi, and the leader of the Dun Qarn party, Ambassador Tahir Mahmoud Geli.

How is the president elected?

Somalia has not held elections on the principle of “one person, one vote” since 1969, when military general Mohamed Siad Barre seized power through a coup d’état.

According to the electoral process regulations, the two houses of the federal parliament, “the people and the Senate”, will elect the president. The elections will take place according to a complex indirect system whereby district councils and delegates from a myriad of clans and their branches choose legislators who, in turn, choose the president.

To be elected, the candidate must obtain the votes of two-thirds of the representatives and senators (184), and if none of them obtains this total in the first round, a second round shall be organized in which the four candidates who came first will compete.

If none of them succeeds in this round, a new poll is organized between the two candidates who obtained the largest number of votes in the second round, and during the polling stages, the voting strategies affected by clan affiliations change.

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