MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somalia will indirectly pick a new president on Oct. 10, the prime minister said on Tuesday, potentially easing a political crisis brought on by a delay in holding the election.
After a series of meetings between the main parties, clan elders will now pick lawmakers in September, who will then vote for a president on the new date, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble was quoted as saying by the state news agency (SONNA).
Under the indirect election system, clan elders were meant to have selected lawmakers in December and the new lawmakers were due to elect a new president on Feb. 8.
Both procedures failed to take place amid disputes over issues that included the composition of an election commission supervising the voting.
The disagreements caused concern that clans could turn on each other and that the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab Islamist insurgency could exploit a security vacuum.
The elders will vote over several days while the lawmakers meet in one venue in the capital Mogadishu to pick the president.
(Reporting by Abdi Sheikh; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Angus MacSwan)