Today Somalia’s new parliament will select a new president for the country, marking the culmination of Somalia’s formal political transition.
More than two dozen candidates are vying for the position, including the current president and prime minister, as well as prominent Somalis who have returned from overseas.
If no one candidate secures a two-thirds majority in the first round, and a simple majority in the second the election would go to a third round.
Some presidential contenders and Somalis have criticized the election process saying it will merely bring in a new government that will look much like previous ones.
A diplomatic source in Mogadishu said millions of dollars were being used to bribe lawmakers to vote for the incumbent, President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.
Consider this an open thread for election-related news.
[UPDATE]: Somalia has a new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. See commenter Ahmed and AP for more.
The first round is now officially on. This will be marathon race. It started around 9 am GMT and could Finnish by 6 or 7 pm.
262 legislatures are voting.
Approximately 60 percent of the Members of Parliament hold university degrees, mostly from the western countries.
25 announced their candidacy. Three dropped out minutes before the start of the first round.
Educational background: 9 hold degrees from USA universities, 3 from italian institutions, 3 from UK, one from French university, incumbent president ( Sudan/Libya), 3 from the former soviet union, one from Malaysia ( dropped from the race), another from Canada ( also dropped from the race) and 2 from Somali National university. Some of the above also started their earlier education from that institution. There is one soviet-trained general ( son of the late long-time ruler, Siad Barre). Their is Islah party ( the brothers) leader, also formerly from Odessa. Two who horned their trade from BBC Bush House, one later becoming Dean of Mcallister ( Kofi Anan alma mater) and the other head of the Somali section of BBC. There are two former TFG PM’s and, of course, Salad Ali Jele from the school of hard knocks. Sharif, the former Speaker is not running because his clan, the Digil & Mirifle, holds the current speakership ( thanks to unwritten, Grady Somali clan agreements called the 4.5).
But is he out of the race completely? Not in a million years. Last night, he and his erstwhile rival, the incumbent President formed one united camp. Sharif, the ex speaker, will sell his block of MP’s to Sharif, the incumbent president. The former will thus have great impact on the incoming PM, power ministries for his block as well as for himself.
Startled, the REST of the presidential contestants vowed to select anybody but the incumbent. If they succeed, their will share the choice power ministries amongst them. It is everybody’s guess if their united front will hold.
All the warlords whose selection as MP’s were earlier rejected by the Technical selection committee have now officially taken their oath after after the new MP’s votes them in. It will be hotly debated for some time.
No camp is expected to win outright.
This just in:
President Sharif….64 votes
Hassan Sheik Mohamoud… 58
Former PM Abdiweli( and current MP)…………..32
Former and current MP Abdulkadir Osoble……28 votes
This will go to the second round.
Watch this site for results before CNN
Second round is canceled after the withdrawal of former PM Abdiweli as well the candidate who came in fourth, MP Abdukadir Ossoble Ali from the race.
The former PM stated his hope of Somalia selecting NEW leadership.
The third round is now officially on and will be contested by two politicians from the Abgal clan: former President Sheik Sharif and young politician Hassan Sheik Mohamud of Abgal/wacaysle
The later is former Minnesotan, former deputy CRD and SIMAD NGO with many years of in-country experience. Never held any political office.
We project him to win soon. The former speaker and former PM are, of course, new MP’s. The former President, if defeated, have the option of settling in either Istanbul or Dubai.
The new President will be faced with daunting task you will never wish worst enemy with.
The last round results just came in and SOMALIA selected Hassan Sheik Mohamud as its newest Villa Somalia resident. It looks like EBBS ( everybody but Sharif) and most of the contenders ganged up on the Sharif/Sheik last minute desperate pact.
He is young and untested. We welcome him with all our hearts but based on his accomplishments after short honeymoon. Obviously, we are not only interested in Villa Somalia resident, globe-trotting President but one who will represent the whole country.
As long as the new President honors the constitution and represents the WHOLE country instead of being only Mog-centric, he will leave good legacy. And only time will tell that.