Somalia halts presidential election

Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud

THE Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) has halted Somalia’s presidential election scheduled for Wednesday.
An official announcement by the Chairman of the Team, Mr. Omar Mohammed Abdulle, on Tuesday said the date was too close and impractical.
He indicated that electoral colleges in various regions were still engaged in the voting for MPs, whose quorum would determine the election of the president.
“Once the election of the MPs of the Lower House is completed or the parliament gets 184 MPs, that is two thirds of the 275 legislators, a schedule will be decided for the presidential election,” said Mr Abdulle.
Last month, 275 electoral colleges, each with 51 voters, were earmarked to elect the 275 legislators for the 10th National Assembly.
The presidential election was first set for October 30, but was postponed to November 30.
The FIEIT chief underlined that the presidential election would take place before the end of 2016.
“This election is distinguished as a 2016 election, which means that the new parliament will be instituted and a president will be elected within the remaining period of 2016,” he said.
In 2015, the government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud declared that due to various reasons, including the delicate security situation, it was not possible to hold a one-man, one-vote election.
Instead a new formula was agreed in which 51-member electoral colleges would elect each MP.
Eventually, members of the 54-member Upper House and 275-member Lower House would jointly elect the president.