Meet Somalia’s 18 presidential candidates in first election since 1984

musharixiinta madaxweynaha soomaaliyaSomalia held indirect presidential elections in 2012 to established its first federal government after more than 20 years of political vacuum.

This year’s election, scheduled to be held on November 30, will have elected members of both Houses of Parliament choose the president, whereas in 2012, a parliament consisting of a single house voted.

As universal elections are not yet possible in Somalia, 14,025 clan representatives who form part of an Electoral College elect the 275 members of the Lower House of parliament while regional parliaments elect the 54 members of the Upper House.

Members of the two houses vote for the president in accordance with the Provisional Federal Constitution.

Among the presidential candidates are the incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Fadumo Dayib, one of the two females to ever run for president in the East African country that has faced threats from Islamist group al-Shabaab.

Below are profiles of the candidates:

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

Madaxweyne Xasan Shiikh
Madaxweyne Xasan Shiikh

Incumbent president and leader of the Peace and Development Party, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is standing for re-election to continue his mandate despite accusations of low performance.

The 61-year-old educationist has improved the diplomatic relationship between Somalia and other donor countries thereby gaining support to build the country.

Sheikh Mohamud, however, faced corruption accusations leading to a 2013 impeachment proceedings which he survived.

Mohamud has overseen the establishment of new federal regions including Jubbaland and Galmudug.

Fadumo Dayib

Fadumo Dayib

One of two first Somali women to contest for president, Fadumo Dayib, was born in Kenya to Somali parents who were later deported to Somalia in 1989.

They fled the civil war to Finland where they assumed refugee status.

Fadumo Dayib returned to Somalia in 2005 where she worked for the United Nations and felt the responsibility to help develop her country by doing away with corruption and empowering women.

She announced her candidature in June 2015 which was immediately followed by a death threat from al-Shabaab, a group she vowed to negotiate a peace deal with.

Fadumo, who only learnt to read and write from age 14, now holds three master’s degrees and recently gained a doctorate.

Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke

sharmaake bad gate

Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke is the Prime Minister of Somalia and formerly Somalia’s ambassador to the United States in 2014.

55-year-old Shamarke, who is also a former United Nations diplomat educated in Canada, is the son of former Somali prime minister and president Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, assassinated in 1969.

Sharmarke is known for his campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM) which is rife in Somalia.

Sharif Sheikh Ahmed


Former president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed wants to make a come-back after his defeat to Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in 2012.

He served as president between 2009 and 2012.

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed


One-time prime minister under former president Ahmed, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, wants to run again after failing to win the election in 2012 despite his popularity.

He served as a prime minister for less than a year before he was forced to resign under a deal supported by the population who protested when he refused initially.

Abdirahman Farole

Cabdiraxmaan Faroole
Cabdiraxmaan Faroole

71-year old Abdirahman Farole was the president of the semi-autonomous Puntland from 2009 to 2014.

Farole has served many years in government and is strongly against the 4.5 power sharing system decided by clans.

Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame

cabdiraxmaan cabdishakuur

Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame is the former senior political advisor to the United Nation Assistance Mission in Somalia.

The 48-year old resigned in May to join the presidential race so that when elected, he will regulate businesses, ensure security to attract foreign investors, and build an effective judicial system that can protect private investment.

Yassin Mahi Mallin


Yassin Mahi Mallin is an educationist based in Sweden where he had served on a city council in 2008 serving a second four-year term.

The 46-year old wants to turn Somalia into a modern democracy that embraces competitive politics.

He is the founder and chairman of the Somali Social Unity Party.

Mohamed Ali Nur

Danjire Cali Ameeriko
Danjire Cali Ameeriko

Mohamed Ali Nur is a diplomat who has served as Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya.

The 54-year-old studied in the United States and later returned to work at the Central Bank of Somalia as the head of the accounting department until the civil war broke out in 1991.

Ali Nur wants to provide leadership and create opportunities for the youth to help solve most of the problems facing Somalia.

Jabril Ibrahim Abdulle

Guddoomiyaha hay'adda CRD Jibriil Ibraahim Cabdulle
Guddoomiyaha hay’adda CRD Jibriil Ibraahim Cabdulle

Jabril Abdulle is a leading researcher, civil society activist and peace campaigner in Somalia.

He has been the Executive Director of the Center for Research and Dialogue in Mogadishu for so many years.

Abdulle wants to bring peace and reconciliation to Somalia.

Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed


Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed is a Somali economist and politician and former prime minister of Somalia from 2013 to 2014.

The 58-year-old has previously worked with the World Bank, USAID, African Union/IBAR, the European Union and the Bank of Canada among others.

He hopes to bring economic development to the country.

Abdirahman Abdullahi Baadiyow


Dr. Abdirahman Abdullahi Baadiyow is a politician, Islamic scholar and civil society activist.

The 62-year-old participated in the presidential race in 2012 and served as the head of the bureau of reconciliation, peace promotion and political activism.

He holds a PhD degree in Islamic history from McGill University in Canada and engineering degree from Somali National University.

Dr. Abdinasir Mohamed


Dr. Abdinasir Mohamed is a Somali-American doctor who lived and worked in US state of North Carolina.

He said his motivation to join the race was due to injustice, poverty, lack of strong governance and level of unemployment in Somalia.

Anab Dahir


Anab Dahir is a Somali-American medical clinic interpreter based in the United States. The 42-year-old mother of six arrived in the United States from Somalia in 1997.

Dahir is the second woman in history to announce her candidature in Somalia’s presidential race.

She believes it is time for a woman to lead the affairs of her country since the men failed to do so.

Dr. Bashir Nur-Bidaar H Looyan


Dr.Bashir Nur-Bidaar H Looyan is agricultural scientist, politician and corporate executive. He has served as a United Nations agricultural adviser and is passionate about food security.

Abdirizak Omar Mohamed


Abdirizak Omar Mohamed is a Somali politician and former Minister of Natural Resources from 2013 to 2013.

He is the Minister of National Security after he served as President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s Senior Policy Advisor.

Mohamud Ahmed Nur Tarsan


Mohamud Ahmed Nur Tarsan is a politician and Chief Executive Officer of a hospitality, manufacturing and aviation cargo handling company.

He hopes to harness Somalia’s natural wealth and create jobs to rebuild the country’s infrastructure.

Said Abdullahi Dani

said abdullahi dini

Said Abdullahi Dani is a politician and former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

The member of parliament wants to build the country’s education system when elected.



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