2017 Somali presidential election

article - 2017 Somali presidential election

The 2017 Somalia presidential election was held in Somalia on 8 February. Members of parliamentelected in the autumn-2016 parliamentary election elected former Prime MinisterMohamed Abdullahi Mohamed to the post of President of Somalia for a four-year term.

2017 Somali presidential election

 2012 8 February 2017 Next 
Nominee Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Hassan Sheikh Mohamud Sharif Sheikh Ahmed
Party TPP PDP Independent
Electoral vote 184 97 45
Percentage 55.9% 29.5% 14.6%

President before election

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

Elected President

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed

Claimed territory
 Somalia portal

The presidential election was to be held in August 2016 and promised to be a one-person, one-vote national poll, but had been postponed several times and shifted to an electoral college system due to security concerns. On 26 January 2017, the election was set for 8 February, with candidates required to register by 29 January.[1] The election was held in an airport hangar at Aden Adde International Airport, Mogadishu.[2]

Mohamed was declared president in a peaceful transition of power after incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud conceded defeat and congratulated the victor.[3]

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Due to the ongoing civil war, security for the ballot was a significant concern. The vote was initially planned to be held at a Mogadishu police academy but was moved to the more secure Aden Adde International Airport, considered as the safest place in Somalia’s Capital. On the voting day, traffic was banned in the city, schools were closed and flights to and from the airport were suspended.[4]

In the previous presidential election in 2012, the president was elected by a parliament that had been picked by 135 elders. Plans in 2016–2017 for a full election involving all adult Somalis were scrapped due to security concerns relating to the ongoing civil war.[5] The election costs were 60% funded by donor countries in Europe, the United States and Japan, with the remainder from the Somali government and candidate registration fees.[6]

The president was elected by the 328 members of the Lower House and Upper House of the Somali Parliament. The Parliament’s members were elected in the 2016 parliamentary election which itself was limited to 14,025 clan elder-appointed delegates.[7] The election’s foreign financiers described the extension of the franchise as a “modest step forward”.[5]

The procedure for the election—a form of runoff voting—is outlined in section 89 of the Constitution of Somalia.[8] There were over twenty registered candidates in the first round of voting.[9]

The parliamentary election was considered by experts to be one of the most corrupt political events in the history of the country. Amid widespread reports of vote-buying, investigators estimated at least $20 million had been paid as bribes. Several candidates paid political unknowns to run against them to add a veneer of legitimacy to their races, and analysts have said that Al-Shabaab did not interfere with the election, as the corruption involved made the group look good by comparison. Much of the money used came from foreign nations with interests in Somalia, which hoped that the candidates they supported monetarily would help advance their interests. Once seated, the parliament voted on who would become president.[10]

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