Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Earth Science News  




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















AFRICA NEWS
Somalia to elect president amid security, drought woes
By Mustafa HAJI ABDINUR
Mogadishu (AFP) Feb 7, 2017


Somalia is to hold its presidential election on Wednesday after numerous delays, with ongoing security concerns and warnings of famine topping the agenda for the new administration.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is seeking re-election against 22 other candidates.

The troubled Horn of Africa nation, which has not had an effective central government in three decades, had been promised a one-person, one-vote election in 2016.

However political infighting and insecurity, mainly due to Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab militants who control swathes of countryside and strike at will in Mogadishu, saw the plan ditched for a limited vote running months behind schedule.

The presidential election had been due to take place in August, four years after the previous vote in which just 135 clan elders chose MPs who then voted for the country's leader.

Elections instead began in October with an electoral college system that excluded ordinary citizens and instead involved 14,025 delegates voting for candidates for both parliament and a new upper house.

The elections were marred by widespread allegations of vote-buying and intimidation.

In a report on Tuesday, Somalia-based anti-corruption watchdog Marqaati said the elections "were rife with corruption". Repeated delays meant the new lawmakers were only sworn in in December.

- Delays and disillusion -

The tortuous process has left some disillusioned. "I really don't care who becomes president. We just need to be free to attend to our business," said Qoje Siyad, a Mogadishu day labourer.

"This thing is taking too long," said housewife Samiya Abdulkadir. "People will be relieved to see an end to this drama."

While falling well short of the election that was promised, the process is more democratic than in the past and is seen as a step towards universal suffrage, now hoped for in 2020.

Wednesday's voting will see members of the 275-seat parliament and 54 senators cast ballots inside a hangar within the heavily-guarded airport.

No candidate is expected to get the two-thirds majority needed for a first-round win, with two further rounds permitted before a winner is declared.

In the absence of political parties, clan remains the organising principle of Somali politics.

All 23 candidates are men after the only declared female candidates dropped out.

And each one has paid the $30,000 (28,000-euro) registration fee although few have any serious chance of winning.

One of them is the current president, a 61-year-old former academic and civil society activist from the Hawiye clan.

Also in the running is ex-president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, a fellow Hawiye and 52-year-old former leader of the Islamic Courts Union which pacified Somalia before being driven out by US-backed Ethiopian troops.

The leading Darod candidates are Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Shamarke, 56, and a former premier Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed 'Farmajo', 55.

Both hold dual nationalities having lived for years in Canada and the US respectively.

- Famine looms again -

The overthrow of president Siad Barre's military regime in 1991 ushered in decades of anarchy and conflict in a country deeply divided along clan lines.

The clan rivalries and lawlessness provided fertile ground for the Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab to take hold and seize territory, frustrating efforts to set up a central administration.

Shabaab has been in decline since 2011 but still launches regular, deadly attacks against government, military and civilian targets in the capital Mogadishu and elsewhere.

Security and overcoming Somalia's adversarial and divisive politics will top the agenda for whoever wins the vote as will dealing with a growing humanitarian crisis.

The UN warned last week of "possible famine" in Somalia as a severe drought has pushed nearly 3 million people to the edge of starvation.

After two failed rain seasons, aid workers fear a repeat of a 2010-11 drought which left more than 250,000 dead.

"The levels of suffering in the country, triggered by protracted conflict, seasonal shocks and disease outbreaks, are typically hard to bear, but the impact of this drought represents a threat of a different scale and magnitude," the UN's office for humanitarian affairs said in a statement last week.


Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food






Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
AFRICA NEWS
A struggle for land and survival in Kenya's restive highlands
Laikipia, Kenya (AFP) Feb 3, 2017
/> The broad plains of Mugie, a huge estate on a high plateau northwest of Mount Kenya, are crisscrossed with cattle trails and the wildlife is mostly gone. The knee-high grass remains, but not for long, reckons manager Josh Perrett. Tensions between semi-nomadic pastoralists and settled landowners are nothing new, nor is competition between livestock and wildlife, but in Kenya's centr ... read more


AFRICA NEWS
Syngenta says profits down as ChemChina takeover looms

Miracle crop: Can quinoa help feed the world?

Students brew beer using 5,000-year-old recipe from China

Persistent tropical foraging in the New Guinea highlands

AFRICA NEWS
Scientists find huge ancient landslide on Great Barrier Reef

Size matters for marine protected areas designed to aid coral

Great Barrier Reef building coral under threat from poisonous seaweed

Threat of poisonous algae growing on Great Barrier Reef

AFRICA NEWS
Researchers say climate models understate risk, ignore human factors

Cape Town pools crack down on splashing as drought bites

Shifting monsoon altered early cultures in China

The ancient Indus civilization's adaptation to climate change

AFRICA NEWS
Powerful change: A profile of today's solar consumer

EU to phase out China solar panel duties

NREL research pinpoints promise of polycrystalline perovskites

Material can turn sunlight, heat and movement into electricity

AFRICA NEWS
A better way to farm algae

DuPont Industrial Biosciences to develop new high-efficiency biogas enzyme method

Cathay Pacific to cut emissions with switch to biofuel

Populus dataset holds promise for biofuels, materials, metabolites

AFRICA NEWS
Facebook adds tool for helping in times of crisis

Afghans dig with 'any tools possible' for avalanche survivors

Six cosmic catastrophes that could wipe out life on Earth

Radiation level in Fukushima plant at record high

AFRICA NEWS
U.S. exploration and production activity rising

US authorities clear pathway for Dakota pipeline

U.S. supply levels drag on oil prices

Some OPEC members bucking trend

AFRICA NEWS
Top tech companies argue against Trump travel ban

Chinese FM to visit Australia in wake of Trump tiff

India's techies fear US crackdown on high-skilled visas

Facing Trump trade threats, Mexico eyes new partners




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement