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Somalia Elections: 39 candidates paid $40,000 each to be eligible for the presidential elections

This election has attracted the largest number of contenders in Somalia’s history. Photo: Pexels.

This election has attracted the largest number of contenders in Somalia’s history. Photo: Pexels.

Published May 16, 2022

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Cape Town - Somalia’s former leader Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been elected president after a final vote that was only open to the country’s MPs.

Somali politicians voted on Sunday for a new president despite explosions near the fortified airport hangar.

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But did you know that 39 candidates paid $40,000 (about R651 501) each to be eligible for the presidential election?

There were 39 candidates vying for the presidency – with only one female among them, former Foreign minister Fawziya Adam Yusuf.

This election has attracted the largest number of contenders in Somalia’s history.

According to the East African, critics have, however, argued that the high cost of contesting locks out some qualified candidates. But election organisers say they have the charge is cheaper than in 2017 when it cost $50,000 to enter the race.

None of them struggled to raise the cash, signalling both the intent and wealth of the contenders.

The 329 legislators from the Upper and Lower Houses jointly elected the president by secret ballot.

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According to the German online news publication, Deutsche Welle, the members of the Somalian parliament and senators who chose Mohamud were elected by delegates chosen by clan leaders.

It had been hoped that the president would be elected by the people of Somalia under universal suffrage, but this plan was eventually abandoned by the country's political elite, writes the German publication.

According to political analysts, as the incoming president, Mr Mohamud will have to deal with the impact of an ongoing drought in which the UN says 3.5 million Somalis are at risk of severe famine.

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But the big task he faces is to wrest control of much of Somalia from al-Shabaab.

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