President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has formally declared his candidacy for a second term in the presidential elections scheduled for May 15.
He stated he was seeking re-election in “reaction to the Somali people’s appeal” and to keep the country on a “road of progress and development.”
His first constitutional mandate ended in February of last year, but he continued on because parliamentary elections were delayed.
MPs in Somalia are chosen by clan elders’ delegates and civil society representatives picked by regional state officials. Following that, the MPs elect a president to lead the country.
Several contenders, including two previous presidents, are to compete against Farmajo.
State TV announced Thursday, Somalia will hold presidential elections on May 15, said a statement by a parliamentary committee tasked with organising the long-delayed polls.
The election is well over a year behind schedule, marred by deadly violence as well as a power struggle between President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo, and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.
Somalia’s international partners have been pushing for the process to pick up speed, fearing the delays sap efforts to tackle entrenched problems, including the fight against Al-Shabab extremists and the threat of food shortage.
A special parliamentary task force charged with the duty of supervising the polls on Thursday, revealed the new date alongside rules to be strictly adhered to by aspirants, adding that most of the 2017 rules will also be applied.
Committee Chairman Abdikani Mohamed Gelleh, revealed that: “The most important day is reserved for Sunday, May 15, when the members of both chambers are expected to convene a session at the Big Tent, a large hangar that is situated inside the highly guarded Aden Abdulle Airport, to elect a president.”
The rules stated that all interested candidates must register their interest within the timeframe of May 8 and May 10 to avoid being left out.
Also, after registration, the candidates will be mandated to address a joint session of the two chambers of parliament on May 11 and 12.
Further, aspiring presidential candidates will be required to pay registration fees to the tune of $40,000 ahead of the polls.
Another rule stated that each presidential candidate must have at least 20 legislators or at least one federal member state to put forward their candidature.
After the steps have been duly followed by candidates, the electoral committee will then settle down to prepare for elections within two days.
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