Former Somali president ‘confident’ in election victory

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Former Somali president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed speaks during a press conference in Mogadishu on Wednesday.

Somalia is expected to hold presidential elections next month, with over 18 candidates are running for the country’s top seat.

By Judy Maina, judy.maina@alleastafrica.com

NAIROBI – The former Somali president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed expressed confidence that he would win this year’s presidential election, even with the potential stiff challenges from his key challenger, the incumbent leader who is seeking to win a second term election.

Somalia is expected to hold presidential elections next month, with over 18 candidates are running for the country’s top seat.

“I am hundred percent confident that I shall become the president of Somalia this year.” Mr. Ahmed said at a press conference in Mogadishu on Wednesday.

“No matter how much money (bribes) he pays – your (MPs) votes will me mine.” He said of the incumbent Somali president.

Mr. Ahmed also took aim at the Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, accusing him of failing to deliver on promises he made after winning the presidential election in 2012. Mr. Mohamud defeated Mr. Ahmed in the election.

“None of the Six Pillar Policy he promises were delivered – you see how bad the security is, the city’s main roads remain closed which complicated the lives of the people, and you know the revenues collected from the port and airport remain unaccounted for.” He noted.

Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud delivers a speech at at Ohio State University Sept, 23, 2013. Photo courtesy/AP
Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud delivers a speech at at Ohio State University Sept, 23, 2013. Photo courtesy/AP

Mr. Mohamud, 61 who was elected as Somali president in 2012 to lead the first non-interim government for the horn of Africa nation since 1991 when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre is trying to defend his seat amid tough challenges from heavyweight rival candidates including his predecessor Sharif Sheikh Ahmed who vowed a ‘new development’ page for Somalia if he is elected for presidency for the second time.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ahmed dismissed reports that he is being backed by neighboring countries to win this year’s presidential election.

“I live in Uganda, but that does not mean Uganda does support me, I do also travel to Kenya which is my regular transit point and that does Kenya supports me.” He said.

Despite facing charges of corruption and power abuses, Mr. Mohamud had overseen key projects including the formation of regional states under new federalism system and the election of a new parliament which would have to elect a president.

He repeatedly dismissed corruption allegations leveled against him, vowing he would complete ‘unfinished tasks’ if he is re-elected for presidency.

Somali presidential polls have been delayed several times, sparking criticism from the international community that questioned the credibility of the process marred by allegations of fraud and intimidation against voters.

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