Somalia is set to hold presidential elections today. After 15 months of delays, parliament members from Somalia’s two houses will
Somalia is set to hold presidential elections today.
After 15 months of delays, parliament members from Somalia’s two houses will select a new president. Over a dozen candidates are up for election including incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and former Prime Minister Hassan Khaire. National priorities for a newly elected president include dealing with the threat posed by al-Shabab.
Attacks from al-Shabab are a major obstacle to the fragile election process in Somalia. Last week the group attacked the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, killing 30 Burundian soldiers. The AU mission is meant to ensure a peaceful transition in the Horn of Africa country. Large portions of the countryside, especially in central Somalia, remain under the control of the terrorist group.
President Farmaajo is unlikely to be reelected as the opposition has a majority in both the upper and lower house. His public popularity has also waned in the past year. Regardless of who wins, attacks from al-Shabab will continue as the group seeks to capitalize on insecurity and political disunity. The new government will look to the international community for security assistance to combat al-Shabab, but external support has declined since the departure of US troops last year.
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