More than 200 newly-elected MPs will convene at a police academy in Mogadishu for the secret ballot to choose the country’s new president among the 25 contenders including the outgoing president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and his premier Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.
Winning candidate must garner a two-thirds majority in the first round; otherwise the top four candidates will go into a second round, with a third round of the final two, where the winner is selected by a simple majority.
Today’s election is the first in two decades for Somalia election to take place on Somali soil, a sign that many Somalis and the international community attribute it to the military gains made by the Somali and African Union force in the capital, Mogadishu.
The new speaker of parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawari, has urged MPs to vote with their consciences, according to the BBC.
“May God help us to elect a good leader in an atmosphere of tranquility. We must give the youth of Somalia a bright future,” he said.
Sunday was the last day for aspirants to sell their ideas and manifestos to the more than 200 MPs who will elect a new president. The new leader will then appoint a prime Minister to form a cabinet.
The spokesman for the newly approved electoral commission Osman Libah Ibrahim told Bar-kulan Sunday that they have already put in place favorable environment that will allow the elections to take place in peaceful manner including tough security measures.
Several political were yesterday in Mogadishu, with each candidate trying to convince electorates to vote for him as he will bring change to the country.
The presidential election has been delayed several times, having already missed the UN-set August 20 deadline.
Today’s presidential election will be a historic one as this will be the first election of its kind ever to be held in Mogadishu since the collapse of Somalia’s central government in 1991.
Several attempts to safe the country from anarchy has failed in the past due to what Somalis themselves termed it “foreign interference” in every attempt.