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Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke drops out of Somali presidential race

Wednesday February 8, 2017

Mogadishu (HOL) - Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke announced that he is dropping out of the race for the presidency despite qualifying for the second round.

The bombshell revelation came just before the votes were cast in the runoff election. The abrupt announcement from the Speaker of Parliament had come before many of the voting MPs and Senators were able to take a seat.

Presidential candidates Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke and Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed held an evening meeting to discuss strategy ostensibly and possibly pledge votes loyal to them in the later rounds of voting.

The eleventh-hour assembly happened at Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke's home in Mogadishu; present were strategists from both sides as well as the President of Puntland Abdiweli Gaas and former PM Abdi Farah Shirdon.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo), and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed are the last three candidates in an election campaign. Zakariye Haji announced that he was dropping out of the race before polls opened this morning.

In the beginning of Somalia's election season, candidates for the Presidency swelled to over 30; 24 formally registered as candidates while 3, Abdirahman Farole, Zakariye Hagi and Abdullahi Ali Osman had dropped out before voting began.


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