MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire announced his presidential bid for Somalia elections in 2020, 50 days after he was ousted by parliament in a no-confidence vote following a long-standing dispute with the incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
The former Prime Minister declared a presidential bid on Friday evening in a statement posted on twitter, putting an end to months of speculation over his running for the office. He said he had learned a lot during his tenure and would serve the nation with the utmost commitment and dedication needed to take the country forward.
The 52-year-old, who has not yet run for the presidency, enters a crowded race for the 2020 elections. He is up against nearly a dozen other hopefuls including former Presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud.
Recently, Mr Khaire declined offer from former President Ali Mahdi Mohamed to attend Hawiye tribal conference in Mogadishu – a move that stirred mixed public reaction, with many describing him the right man to challenge the incumbent President in the race for the upcoming elections.
His critics challenge his diligence, saying he abysmally failed to lead the country to elections and to put an end to Al-Shabaab’s decade –long war against the federal government and its foreign allies.
Khaire makes use of Farmajo’s record to challenge him in the race
In his statement, the recently ousted Prime Minister stated that he would run for presidency, “having sufficient understanding of opportunities and challenges ahead, and the development that the country needs both now and the future,” He added: “I would again appear [in the political arena] to serve my country with commitment, dedication and integrity.”
The achievements made during his tenure in office are likely to have led the former Prime Minister run for presidency, but many dispute that fact, saying he had the ambition even before he was ousted by parliament in a no-confidence vote orchestrated by the incumbent President after a fall-out over election timetable.
What Opportunities and Challenges ahead of Khaire in his bid for Presidency?
Having already enjoyed relative popularity in Somalia’s political spectrum in recent years, the former Prime Minister is able to outclass in all possible ways his rivals in the race for presidency, many of whose images were tarnished by scandals and are not wanted to return by the International Community – the most powerful political establishment that decides on matters of the war-torn Horn of Africa nation.
The former Prime Minister also faces numerous challenges from belligerent rivals belonging to both the opposition and government – who united for his ouster nearly two months ago.
Rashid Abdi of the International Crisis Group says Khaire’s abrasive style alienated many influential forces that will likely to be one of two problems ahead of him in his bid for presidency. He adds that the other problem is Khaire’s record is also the incumbent President’s record, giving him nothing to boast about after serving more than three years as the country’s most powerful Prime Minister in recent history.
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