Somalia sets May 15 as date for president’s election

International pressure, including threats by the International Monetary Fund to suspend the debt review programme, has pushed Somali politicians back into the electoral schedule.

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Somalia sets May 15 as date for president’s election

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia’s presidential elections will be held on May 15, signalling an end to more than a year of delays in establishing a new government.

The decision was announced on Thursday by the chairman of a new parliamentary team tasked with preparing and overseeing the elections moments after the bicameral federal parliament elected the task force.

The team, chaired by legislators Abdikani Gelle and deputised by Mohamed Kerrow, will oversee the president's election by the MPs in the two houses – the 54-member Senate and the Lower House of 275 MPs.

The vote in a joint sitting of parliament will be by secret ballot.

At least 15 contenders, including incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, two former presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, and former Prime Minister Hassan Khaire have announced they will contest.

Somalia has never re-elected a sitting President, and all of the last five indirect polls have sprung forth a newcomer. Other contenders in the race include Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni and former Foreign Minister Abdirizak Mohamed.

The electoral programme shows that all approved presidential candidates will address joint sittings of parliament on May 11 and 12.

The electoral day coincides with the Somali Youth Day which marks the formation of the Somali Youth League, the independence-search movement that was launched in 1943.

The election will be held nearly 15 months later than the original date in March last year. The polls were delayed largely because of bickering by stakeholders on how to select delegates and where the polls were to be conducted.

The parliamentary elections were only completed last week.

International pressure, including threats by the International Monetary Fund to suspend the debt review programme, has pushed Somali politicians back into the electoral schedule.

Source:/The East African
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