Friday, June 22, 2012

US-backed Somalia President Wants Another Term

Somalia President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed wants another term

Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the president of Somalia, has said he will stand as a candidate for a new term in office, two months ahead of his job coming up for renewal.

Mr Sharif, speaking on the sidelines of meetings in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, said his "services are available" if wanted for another term.

Somalia's fragile transitional institutions have to be renewed in the next two months, with a new parliament due to elect a new president by August 20, according to a calendar backed by the international community.

The calendar is supposed to take Somalia into a new era of political stability, the Horn of Africa country having been without a central administration since the ouster of former President Siad Barre in 1991.

Elected by the current parliament on January 31, 2009, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, 47, is criticised both inside Somalia and – behind closed doors – by the international community for having dragged his feet in the fight against graft and not having done enough to restore law, order and basic services.

"During my presidency I dedicated my efforts mainly to fighting terrorism that had become a dangerous phenomenon in the region," Sharif said.

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