Somalia's president of the now expired Transitional Federal Government Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed (L) and Augustine Mahiga (R), Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) in Somalia at Adan Ade international airport on August 20 (file photo).
The UN official to Somalia has warned the country about the ongoing delays in compiling the list of new parliament members who are responsible for deciding on the new president.
Referring to slow pace of transition in Somalia, the UN Secretary General, Augustine Mahiga, recommended the technical committee and Somali elders to finalize the list of parliamentarians to "fulfill their responsibilities as defined in the protocols."
The presidential election is part of a UN-backed agreement, putting an end to eight years of rule by Somalia's weak Western-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG).
“Last Monday, 20 August, the most qualified Parliament in the recent history of Somalia was inaugurated ....We are just a few critical steps away from fully ending the transitional period. We must all support this effort to ensure that the complete number of the new Somali lawmakers begin their vital work immediately” Mahiga added.
Meanwhile, the country’s President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, in power since 2009, is seeking to remain in office. Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and parliament speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan are also presidential candidates.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991 when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
The TFG has been battling al-Shabab for the past five years and is propped up by a strong AU force from Uganda, Burundi, and Djibouti.
Somalia is one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees and internally-displaced people in the world.