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Somalia president appeals for increased security during polls

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Monday appealed to the African Union peacekeeping troops and the local security forces to enhance security during the forthcoming elections.

Mohamud said the pan African and Somali troops should work to secure the coming parliamentary and presidential elections beginning next month.

The call comes after Somalia's election commission announced on Sunday that the country's 2016 presidential election will take place on Oct. 30.

The commission chairman Omar Mohamed Abdulle said the election of 275-member Lower House will be from Sept. 24 to Oct. 10 while the election of Upper House should be completed by Sept. 25.

The elections will be a watershed because it will be the first time in more than 40 years that 14,025 electorates will elect the leaders.

This will be an increase in representation compared to the last elections in 2012, where a council of 135 elders represented the electorate.

Mohamud said the elections would be a turning point for Somalia in its steady progress to peace and stabilization.

He, however, asked security forces to be on alert, adding that the terror group, Al-Shabaab, may seek to disrupt the process and prevent voters from exercising their democratic rights.

He also said the decision by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development regional bloc member states to hold the Heads of State Summit in Mogadishu on Sept. 5 is an endorsement that Somalia is on a steady path to recovery.


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