Somalia says presidential election is Feb. 8, after delays

AP News
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Posted: Jan 26, 2017 7:27 AM

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia's electoral commission says the presidential election will be Feb. 8, after four delays and amid allegations of bribery, fraud and voter intimidation.

Opposition candidates have accused the government of monopolizing the electoral process.

The electoral commission said late Wednesday that registration of presidential candidates starts Thursday. The development comes shortly after this Horn of Africa nation elected members of the two houses of parliament.

Somalia's president is not elected by popular vote. Some 14,000 delegates selected by their clans elect parliament members, who elect the president.

Somalia has been trying to rebuild after recently establishing its first functioning central government since 1991, when warlords overthrew a longtime dictator and plunged the impoverished nation into chaos.

The election delays have worried some in the international community.