The most favorable candidates for Somali presidency

by Farah C/laahi | Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017 | 77 views

NAIROBI (Garsoor Online) —  In Somalia, people often talk about former leaders whom they consider to be the top candidates that will likely score major victories in the forthcoming presidential elections. However, this year’s public views seem to be different.

One week before the presidential election starts in the horn of Africa nation, a new polling finds that the most talked about candidates are by far the least popular –a dynamic that signals a possible shift in Somalia’s politics.

The poll released by the African Institute for Political Polling in Nairobi on Tuesday found favorability rating was considerably high for one key candidate, along with the country’s two former leaders.

And asked whether they were voting for the least known politicians, more than half of Somali lawmakers said they were in favor of electing a political novice versus former leaders.


Somali presidential candidate Ali Ahmed Also known as (Addow Ali Gees)
Abdullahi Ali Ahmed, Aka ‘Addow Ali Gees, a Somali presidential candidate

Abdullahi Ali Ahmed Also known as (Addow Ali Gees). According to the poll, the celebrated Somali businessman has a 51% chance to win, suggesting that he is favored to win the presidency, based on the latest lower house and upper house polls.

Somalia is yet to hold a popular presidential vote but instead parliamentarians will decide who will be the country’s next president.

The poll also suggested that a victory for Mohamed Abdullahi, aka Farmajo and the former Somali leader Sharif Sheik Ahmed remains possible, with the two candidates will most likely secure 50% votes, suggesting that Mr. Addow Ali will still have to face them in first round with the Incumbent president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud will likely face him in the second round.

However, the poll indicated that Mr. Mohamud whose election in 2012 took many by surprise will likely face stiff challenges from Mr. Gees, himself a political novice.

A large number of Somali legislators view Mr. Ges hopeful favorably, the poll suggested. Others view Mr. Mohamud unfavorably, giving him an average favorability rating.


Somali presidential candidate Sharif Sheikh Ahmed
Somali presidential candidate Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the former Somali president as well as the leader of the deposed Islamic Courts Union, is viewed favorably by 50 percent, with a high percentage of voters would also consider electing Mr. Ahmed on February 8 presidential election.

However, some of the Somali MPs say they would mull voting for him while others said they would definitely not.


Somalia's incumbent president as well as a presidential candidate Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
Somalia’s incumbent president as well as a presidential candidate Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the incumbent Somali president is viewed favorably by over 45% MPs with a high percentage of voters would also consider electing Mr. Mohamud on February 8 presidential election.

Where the Race Has Shifted

To understand what is driving Somali parliament tasked to take the long-chaotic horn of Africa nation to a popular vote, it’s worth taking a look at the states where the winning probabilities have changed most over the past few weeks, the poll suggested.

Overall, 24 presidential candidates have registered themselves to run for the country’s top seat.

The vote will come six months after it was originally set for August, following delays in the election of lawmakers because of clan disputes, fraud accusations and organisational challenges.

Despite significant flaws in the election — riddled with claims of vote buying and corruption — it is still widely considered the most democratic voting process to take place in nearly five decades.

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