Somalia: Sharif Resigns As South West Leader, Drops Out of Race

South West State president Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden on Wednesday announced his resignation as the region's leader.

In a press conference held in the South West capital Baidoa Aden annouved that he will not be ot be vying for the seat come November 17.

South West state leadership has been handed over to Speaker of the regional Parliament Abdulkadir Sharif Shekhuna Maye.

Somali Federal government on Tuesday told the leaders of Southwest administration to hold regional presidential election as scheduled on November 17.

In a statement issued by the Interior Ministry hours after the en masse resignation of electoral commission chairman, deputy and 15 officials the government said it will not accept delay of the elections.

The statement reiterated that the mandate of the current leaders expires in November.

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Serious questions had been asked on whether the November 17 South West State regional presidential elections will take place as scheduled after the election commission officials resigned on Tuesday.

In a video statement the Chairman of South West Electoral Commission Arfe Ibrahim Aden cited "interference" by the Federal government as the reason for his resignation and that of his deputy and 15 members of the polls body.

Aden accused the Farmaajo government of bribing Mps from the region and "strangling" the electoral process.

Sharif Hassan Adan is alleged to be the man who ochestrated the resignations to delay elections and extend his tenure as the South West President.

Although Villa Somalia has not accepted or denied the claims of supporting particular candidates, it is believed that former NISA chief Hussein Hassan and State Minister for Trade Abdulaziz Laftagaren enjoy strong support from the office of the President and that of the Prime Minister respectively as possible replacement of the incumbent Sharif Hassan Adan.

Among the candidates vying for the is former Alshabaab number two Mukhtar Robow.

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