Somalia’s presidential elections are due on May 15, marking the end of more than a year of delays in forming a new government.
The decision was announced on Thursday by the chair of a new parliamentary team given tasked with preparing and supervising the elections immediately following the election of the task force by the bicameral federal parliament.
The team, chaired by MP Abdikani Gelle and deputy Mohamed Kerrow, will oversee the election of the President by the Oversee MPs in the two houses – the 54-seat Senate and the 275-seat Lower House.
Voting in a joint session of Parliament is by secret ballot.
At least 15 candidates, including incumbents Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, former Presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, and former Prime Minister Hassan Khaire have announced that they will will run.
Somalia has never re-elected an incumbent president, and all of the last five indirect polls have produced a newcomer. Other contenders in the running are Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni and former Foreign Minister Abdirizak Mohamed coincides with Somali Youth Day, which marks the founding of the Somali Youth League, the independence movement, which began in 1943.
The election will take place almost 15 months after the original date in March last year. The elections were delayed largely due to squabbles among interest groups over how delegates should be selected and where the elections should be held.
The general elections were completed just last week.
International pressure , including threats by the International Monetary Fund to suspend the debt review program, has pushed Somali politicians back into the election plan.