SOMALIA: Presidential candidates in final campaign push
NAIROBI, 7 October (IRIN) - Somali presidential hopefuls campaigned among
their fellow members of parliament on Thursday, the final opportunity for
each of the candidates to drum up support in the assembly, which will vote
to choose the president on Sunday.
Twenty-seven men and one woman are contesting the presidency in what is
widely seen as the culmination of a tortuous two-year peace process in
Kenya, mediated by the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development
Delegates to the Somali reconciliation conference formed the transitional
federal parliament in August. The 275-member assembly last month elected a
speaker, who will on Sunday preside over the election of the president at
the Kasarani Sports Stadium in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The president
will in turn appoint a prime minister mandated to form a government.
Once the federal government is fully constituted, it will move to
Mogadishu, the Somalia capital, to embark on its challenging mandate of
rehabilitation and the restoration of law and order in a country ravaged
by factional warfare since 1991, when the regime of Muhammad Siyad Barre
Some of the better-known contestants include faction leaders Hussein
Muhammad Aidid, Muhammad Qanyare Afrah, Musa Sudi Yalahow, Hassan Muhammad
Nur, Abdullahi Yusuf, the president of the self-declared autonomous region
of Puntland and Abdulkassim Salad Hassan, the president of the Transitional National Government, an administration set up in 2000. The
only woman candidate is Asha Ahmed Abdallah.