Somalia heads to polls to elect country's 9th president

275 lawmakers and 54 senators, tasked with electing Somali’s 9 president.

 

However unlike elections elsewhere, Somalia’s next leader will not be chosen by popular vote, rather 275 lawmakers and 54 senators elected by the country’s powerful, intricate network of clans will elect Somali’s 9 president.

The presidential vote, which was originally slated for August, will see President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud face off with 23 presidential candidates as he seeks his second term.

The vote is expected to go for many rounds with the top three proceeding to a second round of voting and the top two from that round going forward to a third and final vote.

Analysts predict the incumbent President who is standing for re-election likely to be one of those who goes forward to the later rounds.

President Mohamud, who has led the country since 2012 as it tries to rebuild after more than two decades of war and chaos, has the support of about a third of lawmakers, experts say, giving him an edge but not a guarantee of victory.

The election is being held at a hangar in the heavily guarded Aden Adde International Airport for fears of attack by the Al Shabaab militants.

The airport is viewed as the most secure site and voting was moved there from a police academy because of growing security concerns.

Apart from the security threat, graft allegations is also likely to  injure the credibility of the elections, vote-buying, fraud and intimidation is a big problem in Somali, another reason to hold it in the airport where there is minimal contact with the public.

Traffic has been banned in the city, schools have been shut and a no fly zone imposed over Mogadishu to prevent attacks.

Somalia has been marred by religious and clan conflict for two decades since President Siad Barre was toppled in 1991.

The country has not had a one-person one-vote democratic election since 1969.

The elections are seen as part of a lengthy and complex process to help the East African state rebuild its democracy and achieve stability.

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