Somalia set to hold overdue presidential election

Police in Somalia declared a curfew in Mogadishu ahead of the long-running election, citing security reasons.

Somalia is set to vote for its long-delayed presidency later this week, ending the complex electoral process Which created tension in the country when the President’s term ended last year without a successor.

Authorities have registered 39 presidential candidates for Sunday’s election, a list that includes the incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, two former presidents, several top officials and a woman – Fauzia Youssef Haji Adam, a legislator who once served as Somalia’s foreign national. Served as a minister.

Voting will take place amid heightened insecurity as al-Qaeda-linked armed group al-Shabaab, which opposes the federal government, continues to stage deadly attack in the capital and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa nation.

In recent months, al-Shabaab has repeatedly tested the security of the Halane military camp, which is guarded by African Union peacekeepers. At least four people, including two government soldiers, were killed on Wednesday in a suicide bombing at a checkpoint near the heavily fortified airport area where legislators will meet to elect a new president on Sunday.

At a news conference on Saturday, police spokesman Abdifatah Aden announced a full curfew in the capital Mogadishu from 9 p.m. (18:00 GMT) on Saturday to 6 a.m. (03:00 GMT) on Monday.

Lawmakers, security personnel and all other officials involved in the vote are still free to move during those hours.

The indirect election, in which legislators choose the president, will take place at an airport hangar behind explosion walls to help prevent possible attacks or interference by factions within the security services.

The vote is 15 months behind schedule and Somali officials faced a May 17 deadline to vote or Risk of losing key funding from international donors.

President Mohamed – also known as Farmajo – faces an uphill battle for re-election. He has been locked in a power struggle with his prime minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, over control of the government and could play a decisive role in the outcome of the vote.

Despite its persistent insecurities, Somalia has had peaceful changes of leadership in every election since 2000, and it has the distinction of having Africa’s first democratically elected president, Aden Abdulla Osman, to step down peacefully in 1967.

The fall of Somalia began in 1991, when strongmen overthrew Siad Barre and then attacked each other. Years of conflict and al-Shabaab attacks, as well as famines, have shattered a country of about 12 million people.

The goal of a direct, one-man-one-vote election in Somalia remains elusive. It was going to happen this time. Instead, the federal and state governments agreed on another “indirect election”, with legislators elected by representatives of powerful clans – community leaders in each member state.

All 329 MLAs of the bicameral parliament are expected to vote by secret ballot on Sunday. To win in the first round, a candidate must receive two-thirds of the vote, or 219 ballots. Observers expect a second or third round of voting for the top four candidates.

Mohamed’s four-year term ended in February 2021, but the lower house of parliament approved a two-year extension for him and the federal government, following fury from Senate leaders and criticism from the international community. .

Delays in the election triggered an exchange of gunfire between soldiers and others loyal to the government in April 2021, which they saw as the president’s illegal extension of his mandate.

Under pressure, Mohamed reversed the term extension and directed the prime minister to engage with the leaders of regional states to prepare a new plan for the vote.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post Symposium on military youth work held in Beijing
Next post Where the West and China Find Common Ground
%d bloggers like this: