First round of presidential election produces nowinner, three candidates to compete in second round of voting
Federal President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud emerged as the front-runner in the first round of the presidential voting by members of Somalia’s federal parliament today but fell far short of the required two-thirds majority to win outright, forcing a second round of balloting among the top four recipients of the ballots cast.
According to results announced by the Speaker of the House of the People, Mohamed Osman Jawari, President Hassan Sheikh received 88 votes, followed by former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who garnered 72 votes. Former Federal President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed finished third with 49 votes.
Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke came in fourth with 37 votes and subsequently withdrew from the second round of voting.
A total of 328 members of the federal parliament participated in the initial voting, which lasted 90 minutes. Twenty-four candidates had registered for the presidential election but three withdrew prior to the start of today’s voting. The election is being held under tight security measures in a hangar belonging to the Somali Air Force at Mogadishu’s international airport.
A two-thirds majority of the votes cast in the second round is required to win the presidential election. If none of the three remaining candidates receives that percentage, a third and final round of balloting will be held between the two aspirants who receive the largest number of votes in the second round.
The balloting is being witnessed by prominent members of the international community led by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Francisco Caetano Madeira, and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating.