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World powers urge Somalia to 'swiftly, peacefully' conclude protracted elections

Incumbent Mohamed, two predecessors, an ex-premier among hopefuls in long-delayed presidential election set for May 15

Mohammed Dhaysane   | 10.05.2022
World powers urge Somalia to 'swiftly, peacefully' conclude protracted elections

MOGADISHU, Somalia

Ahead of this Sunday’s presidential election, Somalia’s international partners called on its leaders to “swiftly, peacefully, and credibly” conclude the final stage of an electoral process that has dragged on for more than a year.

Hopes for an end to Somalia’s prolonged political crisis have risen after a parliamentary committee last week set May 15 as the date for the presidential election.

“We are encouraged by the positive progress in registering presidential candidates and other preparations for this electoral deadline to be met. There is no justification for any further delay,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday.

The joint statement came from the US, UK, Russia, Turkiye, United Nations, European Union, African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, League of Arab States, Netherlands, Norway, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Qatar, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Uganda, and the UAE.

Under Somalia’s indirect electoral process, 275 representatives were nominated to the lower chamber of the parliament, the House of the People, by clan elders and members of the civil society, which was preceded by the election of 54 members of the Senate.

These lawmakers will now vote for a new president on Sunday, with incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, two of his predecessors, and an ex-prime minister among more than a dozen hopefuls.

The vote comes some 15 months after Mohamed’s constitutional mandate expired in February 2021, and after a protracted electoral process that was destabilized by the al-Shabaab terrorist group and saw frequent feuds between Mohamed and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.

“We urge Somalia’s leaders to conclude this final stage of the electoral process swiftly, peacefully, and credibly so that attention can turn to domestic and state-building priorities,” the statement added.

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