Somali presidential candidates lay down preconditions for lower house elections
MOGADISHU, Somalia – The Union of Presidential Candidates on Monday issued preconditions for the lower house polls, which are expected to begin soon, and which will be critical for many candidates keen to oust incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.
Farmaajo’s term expired on February 8, 2021 and since then he has been strategizing on how to hold on, but this opposition has grown steadily across the country. He will face a host of candidates in the polls scheduled for October 10.
With MPs expected to play a fundamental role in the upcoming elections, opposition leaders have issued a number of tough minimums that they believe will help the country achieve free and fair parliamentary elections.
For this to happen, they said: “All the 135 elders who are recognized as Somali alumni should be selected on the basis of the selection of committees electing members of the Lower House. The international community and members of civil society must be observers.
In addition, they noted: “The polling places must be secured by the forces of the African Union mission in Somalia for impartial security reasons. In addition, federal member states should play ancillary roles as facilitators of the exercise.
Somalia has failed to implement universal suffrage ballots as previously envisioned and this means the country still relies on indirect ballots. Elders are very important in the process of electing MPs, which is why candidates give them special importance.
Already, several regional assemblies have elected new senators who will jointly elect a president with their colleagues from the lower house. Somalia has a total of 275 members of the lower house and 54 senators who both have the right to oversight and legislation.
Among the main presidential candidates are former presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and party leader Wadajir Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame. There are indications that they could present a single candidate.
Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble on Thursday issued invitations to a meeting between federal member states and the federal government. The meeting will assess, among other things, the on-going preparations for the parliamentary elections.