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ATMIS to take charge of security of presidential elections

Monday May 9, 2022

Mogadishu (HOL) - The joint parliamentary committee tasked with organizing the presidential election has announced the security guidelines for the presidential poll, which will take place at an airport hangar in Mogadishu on 15 May.

The committee said that the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) would take the lead on the security at the airport hangar.

Candidates will first arrive at the Afisioni airport hangar later this week to deliver their speeches to the lawmakers before MPs and Senators elect the president on Sunday.  

According to the committee, incumbent president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is allowed to enter the polling station with three people: one bodyguard (soldier), the protocol chief, and a clerk to count his votes, whereas the country's 7th and 8th presidents, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, were allowed to enter with two people each, protocol chief, and a clerk to count their votes.

These exceptions are only made for the incumbent and former presidents. For all else, they will be assigned a clerk to count votes.

The committee further states that anybody carrying electronic devices, money, and narcotics will not be permitted to enter the polling venue.

Candidates and lawmakers have been told to leave their bodyguards and vehicles at the Madina Gate and be escorted to the polling station in pre-arranged cars. In contrast, the committee has barred journalists from entering the polling station and emphasized that a separate hall with screens has been prepared for journalists.

Thirty-two candidates have registered their candidacy for the Somali presidency, with 22 presidential hopefuls - including President Farmajo - writing on Mondayā€ˇ.

It is the highest number of presidential candidates in Somalia's history.


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