Somali minister pulls out of lower house seat race
MOGADISHU – Somalia’s planning and international cooperation minister Abdi Aynte has pulled out his bid to run for a seat in the lower house amid a strong challenge from a rival candidate who enjoys more than twice the support of his clan. The hotly contested lower and upper houses that saw new political novices venturing into politics have alarmed many long-serving politicians who’d long maintained their political seats unchallenged. Announcing his decision, Mr. Aynte is said to have informed his clan elders that he’d drop out, leaving his rival candidate Hussein Idow unchallenged to win for the seat. Sources told Jowhar.com that Mr. Aynte’s withdrawal of the race came as a result of pressure and tough preconditions from the president of Galmudug Abdikarim Guled, rejecting his request of favorable judgements. Mr. Guled had instead asked Aynte’s political party Ala-Sheikh to decide their main candidate among several candidates vying for the seat, a condition that forced Aynte to quit the race. Mr. Guled is a member of the ruling party PDP. The Upper and Lower House elections that represent the existing and emerging federal member states are expected to be concluded before the end of this month. Somali government announced that a presidential election will take place on November 30. The states will elect 54 members of the Upper House by secret ballot for each seat. Each regional state will reserve 30 per cent of its seats in the Upper House for exclusively female candidates.