In a field of dozens of candidates, President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed is confident of re-election later this month. It’s a sign that while in many ways everything is changing for Somalia, in other ways nothing is. “I believe I am a strong candidate and I am very confident I will win,” the transitional leader said in an interview in Mogadishu. “We are coming to the end of the transition and beginning the process of full government for the first time in 20 years.” In Mogadishu’s corridors of power, all the talk is of “ending the transition.” The political jostling is frenetic. But widely reported corruption is dashing the hopes of many here.
Somalia’s feuding leaders agreed on Thursday to extend the mandate of both government and parliament for a year and hold elections by August next year.
The mandate for Somalia’s latest transitional government was meant to expire in August but President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a former Islamist rebel leader, and speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, who covets the top job, had been at loggerheads over what should happen then.
“We agree to defer elections of the President and the Speaker and his deputies for twelve months after August,” a deal signed by the Somali president and speaker in Uganda said.