MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia is ready to carry its long-delayed presidential vote on Sunday, ending the convoluted electoral course of that raised tensions within the nation when the president’s time period expired final 12 months with out a successor in place.
Authorities have registered 39 presidential candidates, a listing that features incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, two former presidents, a former prime minister, a number of high officers and even a journalist. The sector contains one lady, Fawzia Yusuf Haji Adam, a lawmaker who as soon as served as Somalia’s international minister.
The vote will happen amid heightened insecurity because the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which opposes the federal authorities, continues to stage deadly assaults within the capital and elsewhere within the Horn of Africa nation.
With mortar shells and gun assaults, al-Shabab in current months has repeatedly examined the defenses of the Halane navy camp, which is protected by African Union peacekeepers. A suicide bombing Wednesday killed a minimum of 4, together with two authorities troopers, at a checkpoint close to the closely fortified airport space the place lawmakers will meet Sunday to decide on a brand new president.
The vote is not on time by 15 months and Somali authorities confronted a Might 17 deadline to carry the vote or danger shedding key funding from worldwide donors.
Somali polls are unpredictable, and it seems Mohamed — who’s often known as Farmaajo — faces a tricky battle for reelection. Mohamed has been locked in an influence wrestle along with his prime minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, over management of the federal government. Roble is just not working for president, however behind the scenes he and different former leaders might play a decisive function within the end result of the vote.
“Lots of points are at stake. An important factor is to oust the incumbent and unite all candidates in opposition to him, though he’s conscious his possibilities for re-election are minimal, not like his predecessors,” mentioned Mohamed Mohamud, a Mogadishu-based political analyst.
“There are disturbing phenomena that the incumbent can’t safe the required votes for his re-election, however he’s decided to twist outcomes for his most well-liked opposition candidate and try to stop particular candidates from profitable even when they’re forward within the polls,” he mentioned.
Regardless of its persistent insecurity, Somalia has had peaceable adjustments of management each 4 years since 2000, and it has the excellence of getting Africa’s first democratically elected president to peacefully step down, Aden Abdulle Osman in 1967.
Somalia started to collapse in 1991, when warlords ousted dictator Siad Barre after which turned on one another. Years of battle and al-Shabab assaults, together with famine, have shattered the nation of some 12 million folks.
The objective of a direct, one-person-one-vote election in Somalia stays elusive. It was meant to happen this time. As a substitute, the federal authorities and states agreed on one other “oblique election,” with lawmakers elected by group leaders — delegates of highly effective clans — in every member state.
All 329 lawmakers of each chambers of parliament are anticipated to vote by secret poll on Sunday. To win within the first spherical, a candidate should safe two-thirds of the vote, or 219 ballots. Observers count on a second and even third spherical of voting for the 4 high candidates.
Along with Mohamed, main contenders embody former presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, in addition to Stated Dani, the present president of the regional state of Puntland.
Somali elections are notoriously corrupt, and there have been widespread allegations of bribery starting with the number of lawmakers.
Mohamed’s four-year time period expired in February 2021, however he stayed in workplace after the decrease home of parliament permitted a two-year extension of his mandate and that of the federal authorities, drawing fury from Senate leaders and criticism from the worldwide group.
The ballot delay triggered an alternate of gunfire in April 2021 between troopers loyal to the federal government and others indignant over what they noticed because the president’s illegal extension of his mandate.
Below strain, Mohamed reversed the time period extension and instructed the prime minister to interact with leaders of regional states to chart a contemporary roadmap to the vote.
Whoever wins the election faces the pressing situation of insecurity, with al-Shabab fighters making territorial positive aspects in current months. The brand new president may also have to assist ease tensions between regional states competing for restricted assets, analysts say.
“We hope that the following president will likely be somebody who can put the nation’s curiosity earlier than his curiosity and lead the nation in direction of peace and prosperity,” mentioned Farhan Isak Yusuf, deputy government director of Somali Public Agenda, a Mogadishu-based coverage suppose tank and analysis group. “The choice is within the arms of lawmakers who’re solely impartial and never loyal to any sure teams (however) ceaselessly manipulated by cash.”
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