What made this year’s election in Somalia so competitive?

Most of the hopefuls are from the opposition who want to unseat the incumbent who stayed in power beyond his four-year mandate after 15 months of illegal extension that led to street clashes in 2021.

News Keydmedia Online
What made this year’s election in Somalia so competitive?

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia's indirect presidential election, which is expected to take place on May 15, is being closely watched inside and outside the country, as it has been delayed by more than a year.

39 candidates, including Farmajo and two former presidents and PM, have registered, becoming a record number of politicians running the top seat of a country beset by three decades of conflict.

Most of the hopefuls are from the opposition who want to unseat the incumbent who stayed in power beyond his four-year mandate after 15 months of illegal extension that led to street clashes in 2021.

Millions of US dollars are being spent on this key election as candidates are buying votes of the MPs of the 329-seat parliament which shows a lack of transparency and a strong electoral system in Somalia.

The upscale hotels in the capital are packed with agents and brokers from candidates who are in vote-buying negotiations with the starving lawmakers elected from the five Federal States and in Mogadishu.

Sources tell Keydmedia English that some of the candidates, including some with deep pockets, are paying close to half a million dollars per vote as the busy election market is largely flooded with cash for votes from Gulf countries - Qatar and AUE.

Tomorrow, May 11 will be another milestone as the candidates who registered with $40,000 will deliver speeches on their political agenda and background history to the joint members of both houses.

There are security fears arose after Al-Shabaab attacked the parliament with mortars last month during the first days of inaugural sessions. AU troops will be in charge of the presidential election security.

KEYDMEDIA English 

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