After months of delays, some 275 Somali MPs and 54 senators will on Wednesday choose whether to back President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for a second term, or one of his 21 other rivals.
The electioneering process has been marred with corruption and vote-buying, but Somali’s are still hopeful for change, in the most corrupt country in the world according to a 2016 report by Transparency International.
The capital Mogadishu was on security lockdown on Tuesday after an increase in al-Shabab attacks in lead-up the vote. The elections was held at the Mogadishu International airport due to security concerns. The hangar was thought to be the safest place to hold the event.
The government dropped an initial plan to give each adult a vote owing to challenges in securing national polling stations. Instead, about 14,000 clan elders and regional figures chose the 329 lawmakers.
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BREAKING: Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo elected president of Somalia; Hassan Sheikh Mohamud conceded. pic.twitter.com/YUH4yfreF6— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) February 8, 2017
Last round of voting: incumbent vs. an ex-President
After winning the first round of voting, incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamud trails a former president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmajo’. Both men go into the final round to determine who heads to Villa Somalia as president of the republic.
Three candidates vie for President after PM drops out
Prime Minister Sharmake dropped out of the race before second round started. He said he could predict the direction of the next round. He asked MPs to vote change. Which means he is not backing the incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
BREAKING: Somali PM Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke who finished 4th with 37 has dropped out: #SomaliaDecides— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) February 8, 2017
But before the second round kicked off ….
Incumbent takes lead as vote enters second round with 4 candidates
President Mohamud won the first round of votes with 88 votes whiles a former PM Farmajo came in second with 71 votes. Sherif Sheikh Ahmed and Sharmake completed the top four candidates who head into a second round of voting.
Somalia has never re-elected an incumbent, it remains to be seen if President Mohamud breaks that “tradition.” A reminder, winner needs 2/3 of total votes to be declared winner. That comes up to some 2019 out of 328 votes.
BREAKING: Somalia voting goes to 2nd round, 4 candidates progress: Hassan Sh Mohamud, Mohamed A Farmajo, Sharif Sh Ahmed and Omar Sharmarke pic.twitter.com/yfmZQPjtpS— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) February 8, 2017
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS: Four candidates through to the 2nd round, see names and votes they garnered. pic.twitter.com/ehmKFHkf5z— Wakiil (@wakiilorg) February 8, 2017
A candidate needs two-thirds of total votes to emerge winner
First round of voting ends, counting underway
#BREAKING 1st round vote casting of Somalia Presidential election has just finished .Vote counting is following & result will come out later— Mohamed Moalimuu (@MOALIMUU) February 8, 2017
Voting has started
A Voice Of America journalist covering the process has been sending updates.
- 328 MPs are present because one is absent due to illness.
- Three candidates have also dropped out leaving 21 candidates for the first round of voting.
- The three “dropouts” are: Zakariye Mohamud Haji, Abdirahman Farole and Abdullahi Hassan
- Zakarie Haji dropped out of the race citing “foreign interference”
Two key election hall rules
The programme line up – New President to be sworn in today
Photo credit: @amisomsomalia