It takes place during the worst drought in Somalia in four decades, and against a depressing familiar background, al-Shabaab rebels attack, in fighting among security forces and tribes.
Although it has only managed to keep the process going, many in the country with 15 million people were skeptical about real progress. Leading candidates were old faces recycled from the past who had done little to help them and such votes were usually characterized by bribes, they complained.
Incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, nicknamed “Farmaajo” for his passion for Italian formaggio cheese, seemed unlikely to be re-elected after losing support in last month’s parliamentary vote.
Somalia is still unable to hold a direct referendum on insecurity, as the government has little control outside the capital. African Union peacekeepers guarded the area within the “green zone” in the manner of Iraq, where the politicians met.
Two or three rounds of voting were expected, but the result would probably be late at night.
“The only hope we have is this election,” said medical student Nur Ibrahim.
“There is no life in Somalia. We learn and then get blown up by terrorists. If there is no peace, education is useless. “
As well as former presidents Ahmed (2009-2012) and Mohamud (2012-2017), the head of the Puntland semi-autonomous region, Said Abdulahi Deni, also have good potential, experts say.
Only one woman stood up, former Foreign Minister Fawzia Yusuf Adam, but she was not expected to receive significant support in the strict patriarchal community.
Ahmed, a former Islamist, took over a Western-backed interim government in 2009, formed the national army and helped push al Shabaab out of Mogadishu, although he returned strongly in the territories. The former president, Mohamud, was a peace activist and scholar.
Explosions were heard during the Somali president’s referendum – SABC News
Source link Explosions were heard during the Somali president’s referendum – SABC News