Somalia holds long-delayed election amid tight security in the capital

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - Potential candidates for Somalia's presidential race locked up themselves separately as they cut deals with legislators, who will be integral in Sunday's [today] voting as the country ushers in a new era after over five years of wrangles.

The country will have an opportunity to elect a new leader in the wake of surging Al-Shabaab attacks and dwindling economic fortunes but fortunately, the usual old faces are among the top contenders for the race, which will probably be decided later in the afternoon.

For one to effectively stay in the race, he or she must ensure they qualify for the second round. Further, the candidates must ensure they have a Plan B which is to make it easier for coalitions which are essential in boosting someone's numbers.

Due to late-night campaigns, voting for the next president might start past mid-day today. There are 36 presidential, including incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, and two ex-presidents Hassan Sheikh and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed after three dropped from the race.

Somalia's international partners who have been fundamental throughout the electioneering period have asked MPs to vote peacefully with the interests of the country at their hearts. For this to happen, they asked MPs to ensure they vote for someone based on policies.

"On the eve of Somalia’s Presidential election, international partners call on all members of Parliament to discharge their constitutional responsibility in the best interests of the country," read a statement from the team.

"We urge the parliamentarians to vote their conscience by choosing the candidate they believe offers the policies and leadership qualities to advance peace, stability, prosperity, and sound governance in the years ahead."

Farmajo has been accused previously of running the country without involving other stakeholders, with human rights groups also blaming his administration for torture, arbitrary detentions, and executions. The opposition, which has the majority of MPs, is likely to gang up against him.

GAROWE ONLINE

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