Presidential candidates make speeches to new Somali MPs

The recently sworn in Somali parliament members has on Friday and Saturday held special session to listen to the speeches of the country’s presidential candidates barely hours to the date set for the historic presidential vote to be conducted in Somalia for the first time in two decades.

Twenty-five qualified candidates are set to compete in the elections and were allotted 20 minutes each to present to parliament their political philosophies. In his speech former Somali Premier Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who enjoys majority public support warned legislators against electing leaders on the basis of improving their political future.

The presidential election has been delayed several times having already missed an August 20 deadline. Outgoing Somali leader who has been in power since 2009 is seeking a second term in office, promising MPs that once elected, Somali people will soon have the chance to elect their own leaders unlike the current trend where elders select the president on behalf of the people.

For one to be declared winner, the candidate needs to take two-thirds of the vote to win outright, 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. Aspirants are optimistic that Somali MPs will elect effective leaders who will drive Somalia out of poverty and illiteracy.

Former Somali premier Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo, , Outgoing Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, , Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, outgoing president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Mohamed Siad Barre son of the ousted Somali president Siad Bare are considered the favorites in the polls.

The UN Special envoy for Somalia in an open statement earlier this week called on the Somali parliament not to feel bound by any obligation other than the interests of the country and the Somali people and at the same time choose the candidate who will be honest and effective in leading the country with a vision appropriate for the next four years of transformation and peace-building in Somalia.

“Presidential candidates are making speeches to the members of the new Somali federal parliament who are set to choose a new president on September 10th. However the end of an eight year old Transition Government means little change for the Somali people as the country will remain ruled for the coming 4 years by a selected rather than an elected government”


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