June 25, 2012 ·12 Comments
MOGADISHU — Somalia’s presidential hopeful and People’s Party of Somalia (PPS) chairman, Dr. Saeed Issa Mohamud officially kicked-off his campaign on Friday appealing to elders to replace President Sharif in August with him.
The US-educated professor of chemistry was in the agricultural town of Afgoye to build a momentum for his presidential bid in the war-torn nation. He was welcomed to the town, some 30 km north-west of Mogadishu, by the Governor of Lower Shabelle region and the Mayor of Afgoye as well as large jubilant supporters.
While out on his first public campaign trail, he urged locals to support him saying despite Somalia’s current turmoil, hope and change were still possible under his leadership.
Dr. Mohamud stressed that while the task of rebuilding Somalia might seem unthinkable, he was optimistic the transition can be achieved with real change in the country.
Being the only presidential candidate who rallied outside the capital Mogadishu, Dr. Mohamud toured the town and its surroundings by feet.
While inaugurating a new office for his PPS party, he invited locals– most which are farmers, to participate in the process for change in the lead up to August, when Somalia’s Transitional mandate expires.
The former Maine resident said people who feed the nation deserve a more stable and accountable government that lends practical support for farmers. He warned against reelecting the transitional federal government (TFG) of Sheikh Sharif saying corruptions and instability will remain.
The first official presidential candidate declared his support for the role of the armed forces including the regional peacekeepers, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The professor reiterated his full support for the ongoing negotiations between Somalia and Somaliland saying cooperation between the two sides will further enhance stability and regional security.
In addition he noted that the current government and international aid agencies operating in Nairobi were involved in the theft of millions of dollars of aid funds. In addition, he insisted that international contractors accused of siphoning off tens of millions in kickbacks and graft were immune to scrutiny and investigations.
“It is a disgrace that millions of aid dollars are spent in Nairobi pampering high officials while the Somali people are still dying from a lack of food and medicine. The world press needs to draw attention to the Nairobi Mafia and investigate the millions lost before aid reaches needy people,” Mohamud said.
He urged the current government to pave the way for a new civilian government that will erase the 12 years of transition, 21 years of civil war and the two decades of military rule by General Mohamed Siad Bare.
While pledging to work hand-in-hand with all Somali people, he voiced against
overcrowding the Parliament House saying he will not increase the members. He insisted such move will only put heavy constrains on the nation’s small struggling budget.
He supported the set up of a new legislature with an upper of 75 members and lower house of 225 members which will be divided between Somalia’s major tribes based on the so called 4.5 formula. Elders suggested that the number of seats in the lower house be increased by 50 seats to 275. “The country needs a quality rather than quantity,” he told his supporters.
A statement from his office claimed the candidate was saddened by the announcement of Sheikh Sharif to re-stand for leadership. “It could be perceived that donor countries, international organizations, and the international community, led by UN, are indirectly supporting a scenario where Somalia remains in the hands of corrupt officials and chaos for years to come,” Mohamud said.
Dr. Mohamud was born in the Somali central town of Dhusamareb in Galguduud region, he received a PhD in Chemical Science in Mogadishu where he later taught science classes. After arriving in the United States, he completed a bachelor degree in Political Leadership at the University of Southern Maine.
Dr. Mohamud is touring various towns and districts in a bid to mobilise formidable network of supporters to help him replace current President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed of the TFG.
He is appealing to future potential parliament members such as traditional elders, community groups, business elites and the general public.
Somalia has less than two months to end its current political transition mandate and form a constitutionally elected government with parliament and independent judiciary.
His campaign follows recent meetings by Somali leaders in Nairobi where they endorsed a draft constitution that still requires the approval of constituent assembly. Analyst described the adopt text as a key step in the search for a stable Somalia.
June 25, 2012Follow @somalilandpress