Somalilandsun: Somalia’s joint parliamentary committee responsible for organizing the presidential election said Tuesday it has registered 39 candidates who will take part in the polls scheduled for Sunday.
The committee, which concluded two days of registration of the candidates including incumbent President Mohamed Farmaajo, said only one female candidate expressed her interest in vying for the country’s top office.
According to a list compiled by the committee, former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, two former presidents — the country’s seventh and eighth presidents, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, respectively, and several ex-ministers are among those who will take part in the long-awaited presidential election.
Those offically registered as candidates are Dr. Sa’id Isa Mohamed, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdi, Ahmed Duaale Geelle Haaf, Mahad Ahmed Diriye, Muqtar Mohamed Sayid, Abdi Mohamed Abdi, Jamal Ahmed Ibrahim, Mohamed Dahir Aweys, Ridwan Hirsi Mohamed, Omar Abdulkadir Ahmed Fiqi, Numan Sheikh Omar, Gabriel Ibrahim Abdulle, Hussein Abdi Nurow, Abdihadir Mohamed Mohamed Jahweyne, Abdihadir Sheikh Ali Bakkadadi, Abdullahi Ahmed Ali Gees, Abdi Adan Hoosow, Abdi Mohamed Bakkadadi, Abukar Adan Abdulle and Fowsia Yusuf Haji Adan, Sheikh Sheikh Sheikh Ahmed, Dahir Mohamud Geelle, Hasan Ali Abdirahman, Abdulkadir Osoble Ali, Bashir Haji Ali (Jamaal), Abdi Ali Hassan, Abdi Nur Sheikh Mohamed, Abdi Shakur Warsame, Abdikarim Hussein Guled, Abdi Ma’alin Ahmed Ablaal.
The sole female candidate is Fozia Yusuf Haji Aden who if elected shall become the first woman to reign at the Villa Somalia. Read more about the Somalia presidential candidature of Somali Iron Lady Fozia Yusuf Haji Aden
The committee said 329 lawmakers from both houses — 54 from the Senate or Upper House and 275 from the Lower House — will elect the country’s tenth president. The presidential candidates will address Parliament Wednesday and Thursday on their policies ahead of the vote.
The end of the registration exercise came as Somalia’s international partners welcomed the progress and the date which has been set by the committee to finally hold the election of the president.
“We are encouraged by the positive progress in registering presidential candidates and other preparations for this electoral deadline to be met,” said the partners including the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
The partners said there is no justification for any further delay, noting that with both chambers of Parliament sworn in and fully functional, any outstanding electoral issue should be resolved by the duly elected parliamentary leaders. “We urge Somalia’s leaders to conclude this final stage of the electoral process swiftly, peacefully and credibly so that attention can turn to domestic and state-building priorities.”
The election of the president will coincide with a historic day as the country will also commemorate the 79th anniversary of the Somali Youth League formed on May 15, 1943 by 13 young activists who spearheaded the struggle for a united and independent Somalia in the 1940s and 1950s.
The presidential election, which is 15 months behind schedule due to COVID-19, severe drought, insecurity and differences among Somali leaders, comes after Somalia concluded parliamentary elections in April.
In order to be elected as president, a candidate must garner at least two-thirds or 184 of the votes of both chambers.
Farmaajo, whose term in office officially ended on Feb. 8, 2021, has been under pressure after the election date passed without resolution of issues related to how the vote would have been conducted in Somalia.
The vote will take place amid tight security due to an upsurge in terror attacks by al-Shabab militants opposed to the electoral process in Somalia.
The election committee said that the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) will take charge of the security at the airport hangar, the venue of the elections.
The committee said the incumbent president Farmaajo will be allowed to enter the polling station with only one bodyguard, the protocol chief, and a clerk to count his votes, whereas the country’s two former presidents will be allowed to enter with a protocol chief and a clerk to count their votes.
The remaining candidates will be assigned a clerk to count votes and anybody carrying electronic devices, money and narcotics will not be permitted to enter the polling venue.
Experts said the conduct and results of Somalia’s 2022 elections will have a consequential ripple effect on the social, political, and economic relations of the countries in the greater Horn of Africa region.
Somalia last held one-person, one-vote elections in March 1969 when the government was overthrown in a bloodless military coup.
Parliamentary and presidential elections took place in late 2016 and early 2017 through a system of indirect suffrage.