The determination by the Somalia federal government to influence the outcome of the Southwest State’s presidential election has raised doubts about whether the polls will still be held on December 19 having already been postponed three times. The election was initially set for November 17, but was pushed to November 28 and then December 5, due to what the government says is lack of equipment and ballot papers. However, experts on Somalia say that the government of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is determined to get a friendly leader in Southwest State especially after the regional leaders threatened to suspend their cooperation with the centre in September.
The president and his Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khaire are backing former minster for energy and water resources, Addukaziz Andullahi Mohammed, and are opposed to the candidature of former Al Shabaab deputy leader Sheikh Mukhtar Robow.
However, National Assembly Speaker Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman — who hails from Southwest — is opposed to the federal government’s interference and is demanding that Mogadishu remain neutral in the matter.