Final 3rd round commences in Somali presidential election
Former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud leads in 2st round with 110 of 329 votes
The presidential election in Somalia proceeded to its third round on Sunday in a long-awaited vote that has been ongoing in the capital Mogadishu since earlier on Sunday.
Of the 36 candidates that entered the first round, only four remained to compete in the second after none could clear the two-thirds minimum to win outright.
Now, only incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and his predecessor Hassan Sheikh Mohamud are progressing for a final third round of voting that will decide the country's next leader with a simple majority.
Out of the total 329 votes, Farmajo received 83, while Mohamud got 110.
Parliament speaker Sheikh Adan Madobe, who announced the second-round results, said 329 votes had been cast, including five that were disqualified.
Said Abdullahi Deni, the president of the state of Puntland, and former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire were eliminated in the second round and endorsed frontrunner Mohamud.
Somali lawmakers from both houses of the parliament started casting their votes earlier on Sunday to elect the country's next president.
The members of parliament have gathered at a tent hall located inside the heavily guarded Mogadishu international airport.
All presidential candidates, including President Farmajo, arrived at the venue of the election, which has been delayed for almost two years.
The parliament session, chaired by speaker Madobe, officially started the process to elect the Horn of Africa country's new president.
"Today is a historic day for Somalia as we are sitting here to elect the president of the Federal Republic of Somalia," Madobe said.
The voting process is expected to continue late into the evening.
Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, the spokesman for the Presidential Election Commission, told the lawmakers that they would cast the vote secretly in line with the country's constitution.
A nation of 16 million people, Somalia has suffered for decades from civil war, weak governance, and terrorism.