19 August 2012

Somalia: Former Unicef Official Confident of Clinching Presidency

Somalia's new parliament is being sworn in - the next stage in the long struggle to lead the country out of its violent past. The mandate of the ... ( Resource: High Hopes for Somali Politics )

A former UNICEF employee Hassan Sheikh Mahamud has joined the growing list of presidential candidates in Somalia.

Mahamud said he is confident of being elected President of Somalia.

"I have massive support from the leaders, and I am hopeful of being elected to serve the people of Somalia," the 57-year-old candidate who founded the Peace and Development party (PDP) said.

"My party is going to advocate for the rights of the people of Somalia to ensure they do not remain refugees forever," he added.

He said his priority is to rebuild his country and restore security to ensure his fellow countrymen and women living as refugees in other countries, many of them in Kenya returns back home.

The Somalia election will be held on Monday and is expected to pave the way for the establishment of administrative structures since the country plunged into war 20 years ago.

"The time is now, we must rebuild our country," he said.

The presidential candidates list include incumbent Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and his premier, Prof Mohammed Abdiweli Ali as well as others like Abdullah Ahmed Addow, Prof Ahmed Samatar, Abdishakur Warsame and Mohamed Farmajo among others.

The head of BBC Somali Service Yusuf Galad recently resigned from the media giant to join the race.

The transitional president will be nominated by Parliament as resolved by some 825 delegates recently.

"I am confident that I will be nominated," he said.

Mahamud has been working as a consultant and advisor for the political crisis in Somalia since 2007, besides working for a various local and international organizations.

He previously worked with UNDP Somalia, Life and Peace Institute, Conciliation Resources, Oxford University, Center for Refugee studies, International Peace Building Alliance (Interpeace), Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD), Department for International Development (DfID), Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) and mostly recently Unicef Somalia.

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