Former Somali minister for planning declares his 2016 presidential bid

The former Somali minister for planning and international cooperation, Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame announced on Monday that he is running for the upcoming Somalia’s presidency in 2016, joining a crowd of candidates vying for the country’s top position.

“I hereby declare that I am a candidate running for Somalia’s presidency. I want to bring changes and lead this country toward peace and prosperity” said Warsme while addressing the public at an event held at Jazeera Place Hotel in Mogadishu.

Mr Abdishakur has pointed out that the current leadership has not achieved much about building the national army that would have protected the sovereignty of Somalia.

“The current leadership has failed to provide political leadership, national vision and political stability”. Said Mr Abdishakur

He pledged that if elected he would fight against the rampant corruption and he would immediately work on the current judicial system of the country.

He noted that the current Somali government has failed in reforming the justice system.

“Judiciary is a base for good governance and if the president has acknowledged the failure, I don’t understand why he is seeking reelection “Warsame.

Warsame said his government will fight against the embezzlement and mismanagement of the public finances.

Warsame served as an MP in the former government led former president Shariif Sheikh Ahmed.

Somalia is expected to go to the polls this August to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections.

The current President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the parliament were appointed by clan elders in 2012 with foreign backers promising full democracy in 2016, signalling an end to decades of chaos and instability.

But the decision to ditch plans for a full election highlights that progress on key issues — notably security and the threat from Al-Shabaab fighters — has not been as quick as hoped for.

Diplomats, who admitted long ago that the timetable for elections was too ambitious, have said that rather than holding a fully democratic poll, alternatives including relying on clan elders to select leaders may be considered.

The Western-backed government is propped up by a 22,000-strong African Union force, which fights alongside the Somali army against Al-Shabaab.

The group carries out regular attacks. The latest was earlier this month when a suicide car bomber killed at least 15 people at Ambassador Hotel which was popular with government officials and lawmakers.

Somalia, a long-troubled Horn of Africa country, had been in the grip of political violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

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