Somalia’s new parliament elects president
Somalia on Monday began electing a new president, in what the UN has billed as a key step towards restoring peace in a nation that has lacked an effective central government for two decades.
MOGADISHU– Somalia’s Parliament met Monday to select a new president in the country’s latest step toward ending years of violence, officials said.
The favorite among the 24 candidates, observers said, is current Islamist President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, who has been in power since 2009 and has been accused of corruption by his challengers.
The country recently marked an end to its lingering political transition period by electing members of Parliament and drafting a new constitution.
The newly elected members of Parliament met at a police academy in Mogadishu to vote for the new president, the BBC reported.
A candidate must receive a two-thirds majority of votes to be elected president. If there is no majority, the MPs will vote a second time on the four candidates who received the most votes in the first round.
Among Ahmed’s strongest challengers are outgoing Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullah Farmajo, the BBC said.
U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell, in a statement released Friday, encouraged Parliament to “act with courage, determination and integrity in conducting a fair and transparent election.”
“We also urge that candidates who lose will do so gracefully, accept the result, and refrain from inciting violence or encouraging others to distance themselves from Somalia’s new federal governmental institutions,” he said.
Video: Somalia’s President outlines major concerns
Video: Somalia lawmakers to vote for new president
Video: Somalia’s Puntland oil -Part 1
Peter Landau Executive Director of Range Resources Investor Presentation, ASX Small to Mid Caps Conference in Hong Kong
Video: Somalia’s Puntland oil -Part 2
Somalia is slightly smaller than Texas
Population: 10,085,638 (July 2012 est.)
Bantu and other non-Somali 15% (including 30,000 Arabs)
Bari coast of Somalia
Lido Beach near Mogadishu
Video: Lido Beach, Somalia
Video: Mogadishu beach, Somalia
Video: Somalia’s beautiful coast
Bosaso, Puntland -Somalia
Africa’s beautiful eastern oil nation is rebuilding
Video: BBC Property prices ‘Soaring’ in Mogadishu say estate agents -2012
Video: AFP Mogadishu rebuilds after years of war-2012