1016 GMT October 05, 2022
Dozens of candidates are competing for the top job in the troubled Horn of Africa nation as it battles terrorism and the threat of famine, with the vote already well over a year behind schedule, AFP reported.
The vote is expected to draw a line under a political crisis that erupted in February 2021, when President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's term ended without a new election.
Somalia's international partners have long warned that the delays – caused by political infighting – were a dangerous distraction from the fight against Al-Shabaab terrorists.
The Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists controlled Mogadishu until 2011 when they were pushed out by an African Union force, but still hold territory in the countryside and carry out frequent attacks in the capital and beyond.
The African Union force ATMIS will be responsible for securing the election venue inside the heavily guarded Mogadishu airport, the parliamentary committee tasked with organising the poll said on Tuesday.
Somalia has not held a one-person, one-vote election in 50 years. Instead, polls follow a complex indirect model, whereby state legislatures and clan delegates pick lawmakers for the national Parliament, who in turn choose the president.
The election is likely to take several hours and stretch late into the night, with multiple rounds of voting expected as candidates drop out, narrowing the options until a winner is chosen.
The victor must secure the backing of two-thirds of Parliament, which means a minimum of 184 votes.