Somalia’s presidential elections will be held on May 15, signalling an end to more than a year of delays in establishing a new government.
The decision was announced on Thursday by the chairman of a new parliamentary team tasked with preparing and overseeing the elections moments after the bicameral federal parliament elected the taskforce.
The team, chaired by legislators Abdikani Gelle and deputised by Mohamed Kerrow, will oversee the president’s election by the MPs in the two houses – the 54-member Senate and the Lower House of 275 MPs.
The vote in a joint sitting of parliament will be by secret ballot.
At least 15 contenders, including incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, two former presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, and former Prime Minister Hassan Khaire have announced they will contest.
Somalia has never re-elected a sitting President, and all of the last five indirect polls have sprung forth a newcomer. Other contenders in the race include Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni and former Foreign Minister Abdirizak Mohamed.