9 December 2016

Somalia Sets December 28 for Presidential Election

Somalia has set another date for the presidential elections, which had been rescheduled three times.

The National Leadership Forum (NLF) - made up of the president, the prime minister, leaders of federal regions and clan elders - said the vote will now be held on December 28.

Among the factors blamed for delays are clan disputes, logistical problems and insecurity which have led to failure to complete the election of the 275 Members of the Parliament and 54 Senators expected to pick the next president.

The general election was set to take place in August this year but was missed and the presidential poll rescheduled for September 10, October 30 and November 30. Last month the electoral body said it would be held in December.

The NLF has urged the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) and States-level Indirect Electoral Implementation Teams (SIEIT), who are managing the polls, to conclude the parliamentary elections by December 14.

"All legislators will be sworn-in on December 15th in the opening session of the new Parliament," stated a communiqué by the NLF on Thursday.

It said the election of speakers and their deputies in the 54-member Upper House and the 275-member Lower House will be held on December 22. All the legislators will then elect the president on December 28.

Those contesting the presidency include President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke, former Transitional Federal President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and president of South West Interim Admonition, Sheriff Hassan Sheikh Aden.

Others are Jibril Ibrahimed Abdulle, the director of Centre for Research and Dialogue, a Mogadishu-based think tank, and Mohamed Abdullahi Nur, a businessman.

The only female candidate for the presidency, Ms Faduma Dayib, was reported to have told the Washington Post on December 1 that she would withdrawal from the contest, citing irregularity in the election process.

Latest figures from the UN show that 212 MPs and 43 Senators have been voted for.

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