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Somalia's Presidential Election Postponed for Third Time

  • VOA News

FILE - People walk along a street in Mogadishu, Somalia, Sept. 28, 2013.

FILE - People walk along a street in Mogadishu, Somalia, Sept. 28, 2013.

Somalia's presidential elections, scheduled to begin this week, have been postponed for a third time, the electoral body said Monday.

Omar Mohamed Abdulle, head of Somalia's electoral body, said elections slated for Wednesday will not happen as planned.

Abdulle did not offer a new date, but said the next president will be elected before the end of this year.

Somalia's parliament members will elect the new president. However, parliamentary elections to elect new lawmakers have not been completed in all regions of the country.

The parliamentary voting was marred by irregularities and corruption, and Somalia's electoral body is investigating allegations of election malpractice.

Somalia's auditor general, Nur Jimale Farah, told VOA's Somali service earlier this month that some of the parliamentary seats were bought by the highest bidder.

"Some votes were bought with $5,000, some with $10,000, and some with $20,000 or $30,000. But not all seats are equal. Some are influential seats and have a lot of candidates competing for them," he said.

Somalia is using a limited voting system in which about 14,000 delegates representing Somalia's clans are casting their votes for the 275-member Lower House, while regional parliaments are electing the 54-member Upper House.

Somali officials had promised citizens a one-person, one-vote election; however, political infighting and insecurity in the country led them to drop the plan.

Incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud is among dozens of candidates vying for the post of president, which will be determined by the new lawmakers.

VOA’s Abdulaziz Osman contributed to this report.

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