Somalia’s parliament is set to elect a new president as the eight-year UN-backed mandate of the ruling Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in the country has come to an end.
Outgoing President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden are the main contenders of the presidential race.
The new legislature, comprised of the 275-member lower house and a yet-to-be-launched upper house with a maximum of 54 members, will hold its first session on Monday, when the TFG’s mandate officially ends, to vote for the president.
Tight security measures have been adopted across the capital, Mogadishu, ahead of the vote with police and military troops patrolling the streets.
The Somali government is tainted by corruption allegations. However, President Ahmed, who took office in 2009, was backed by the Western countries.
A UN report in July said that under his presidency, "systematic embezzlement, pure and simple misappropriation of funds and theft, of public money” became government systems.
The UN special representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, also reported in August that some lawmakers of the new legislature were appointed through “favors, bribes and intimidation.”
The African nation has lacked an effective central government following the ouster of former President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
People in Somalia say that the country needs no foreign military intervention and that Somali issues can be best addressed by its own people.