2009 Somali presidential election

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Somali presidential election, 2009

← 1986 January 30, 2009 2012 →
  Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, 12th AU Summit, 090202-N-0506A-337-2.jpg
Candidate Sharif Sheikh Ahmed Maslah Mohamed Siad
Party ARS
Electoral vote 293 126

President before election

Adan Mohamed Nuur Madobe

Elected President

Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

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An indirect presidential election was held in Somalia on 30 January 2009.[1] Due to the security situation in Baidoa, it was held in Djibouti. President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed won in a run-off election.


The election was necessitated following the resignation of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed on 29 December 2008, over the dismissal of the government of Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein which was not approved by the Transitional Federal Parliament.[2] As such, the Speaker of Parliament Adan Mohamed Nuur Madobe shall act as interim President until the Parliament elects a new President based on the Transitional Federal Charter within 30 days.[3] Postponing the election until a new interim parliament, which would likely include moderate Islamist opposition, was considered,[4] but Interim President Aden Madobe stated that a new president would be selected within the constitutionally mandated 30-day period.[5] On 11 January 2009 African Union Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra announced that the election would take place on 26 January, with preparations including nominations of candidates commencing on 20 January.[6]

Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein announced on 15 January 2009 that he would like to become president.[7] Other official candidates include MP Mohamed Afrah Qanyare (an ex-Mogadishu warlord), MP Hassan Abshir Farah (a former prime minister), Ali Mohammed Ghedi (also a former prime minister), Ali Khalif Galaid (another former prime minister) and Mohammed Said Hersi Morgan (an ex-Kismayo warlord); ARS Chairman Sharif Ahmed also stated he was a contender for the presidency.[8] In total, at least sixteen candidates have stated they want to become President; the PM and the ARS chairman are seen as the most likely contenders. Due to difficulties in picking the next president, the deadline was considered to be extended;[9] despite strong pressure from the international community, the original deadline of 28 January 2009 was extended by five days, meaning the election is to be held by 2 February 2009.[10]

As planned, the Transitional Federal Parliament was enlarged to include 200 representatives from the Islamist opposition and 75 representatives of citizens' groups and diaspora representatives; the former group was sworn in on 27 January 2009. The 275 existing MPs voted 211 to 6 in favour with 3 abstentions to enlarging the TFP.[11]


A total of fourteen candidates formally filed to stand in the election.[12] The candidates were:


There were three rounds of voting. There would have been less if one candidate garnered more than two thirds of the vote in an earlier round. The first round of voting reduced the field of candidates to six, the second to just two, with the winner decided in a run-off round.[12]

As the first round of voting began, several candidates withdrew, increasing the speculation that the vote would largely be a choice between Nur Hassan Hussein and Sharif Ahmed.[13] In the first round, Sharif Ahmed got 215 votes, Maslah Mohamed Siad 60 and Nur Hassan Hussein 59; Nur Hassan Hussein then withdrew his candidacy, thus likely sealing the election of Sharif Ahmed as president.[14] Reportedly, Ali Khalif Galaid also withdrew.[15] All candidates except Maslah Mohamed Siad withdrew after the first round of voting; Sharif Ahmed won the run-off with 293 to 126 votes.[16]


  1. ^ "Somali rivals to seek MPs' votes". BBC News. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  2. ^ "Somalia's president quits office". BBC News. 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
  3. ^ "Somali President Yusuf resigns". Financial Times. Reuters. 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
  4. ^ Sanders, Edmund (2008-12-30). "Somalia president resigns; new unity government seen". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
  5. ^ "Somalia's caretaker president says new leader to be named soon". People's Daily. 2009-01-02. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
  6. ^ "Somali MPs to vote January 26 for new president". Khaleej Times. Agence France-Presse. 2009-01-11. Archived from the original on 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
  7. ^ "Islamists take bases in Mogadishu". BBC News. 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  8. ^ "Somalia's presidential election to be held in Djibouti". Garowe Online. 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  9. ^ "Somalia may delay president vote". BBC News. 2009-01-26. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  10. ^ "Q&A: Somali presidential elections". BBC News. 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  11. ^ Heinlein, Peter (2009-01-26). "Somali Parliament Approves Expansion Before Presidential Vote". VOA News. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  12. ^ a b Clarke, David (2009-01-30). "FACTBOX-Somalia's presidential election". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  13. ^ Heinlein, Peter (2009-01-30). "African Leaders Await Outcome of Somalia Presidential Election". VOA News. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  14. ^ Clarke, David (2009-01-30). "Islamist looks set to be new Somali president". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  15. ^ "Somalia: PM withdraws, Islamist leader to win presidency". Jimma Times. 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  16. ^ Clarke, David (2009-01-31). "Islamist leader sworn in as Somali president". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-02-01.