Somali elections to take place

Parliamentary elections will conclude today in Somalia. Once complete, delegates from the Lower House will elect the president. Current president

Somali elections | Photo: Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP

Parliamentary elections will conclude today in Somalia.

Once complete, delegates from the Lower House will elect the president. Current president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is running for a second term.

Originally scheduled to close on December 24, the poll’s end has been repeatedly delayed due to infighting between Mohamed and the leaders of Somalia’s five regions. The vote’s delay has also ignited a feud between Mohamed and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble that led to gun battles in the capital Mogadishu. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has threatened to pull $400 million in funding that pays for military wages and other essential services if there are any more delays in elections.

Expect no more delays as Mohamed, Roble and Somali’s regional leaders look to prevent funding cuts that threaten their control of the military. Regardless of who wins the election, expect continued political and violent fighting between Mohamed, Roble and their respective supporters, especially if Mohamed is voted out. Voting delays and subsequent infighting will likely continue into future elections unless Somalia’s electoral system shifts from indirect elections controlled by fractious local clans to one that allows for the direct election of delegates and the president.

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