Sunday May 15, 2022
Mogadishu (HOL) – In what may be his last act as president, incumbent leader Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo led a ceremony on Sunday morning to commemorate the 79th anniversary of the Somali Youth League, just hours before a climacteric presidential election that will determine his political future.
President Farmajo laid a wreath at the SYL monument in central Mogadishu with dozens of onlookers and supporters.
A live band capped the ceremony.
Farmajo left immediately after the ceremony back to Villa Somalia to prepare for the presidential election, where he faces stiff competition for Somalia’s top job.
If he succeeds at the ballot box, Farmajo will make history as the first president to be reelected in Somalia’s history.
In February 2017, Farmajo won the presidential election in a similar indirect election.
Thirty-seven candidates are vying for the presidency, with several notable frontrunners jockeying for a position in the second round.
Several analysts we spoke with said that while Farmajo may have more MPs supporting him than any other candidate individually, the opposition candidates have more MPs combined. If the opposition can rally behind a single candidate in the later stages, they may be able to unseat Farmajo; however, if the opposition candidates cannot form an alliance and split their vote, it would make a path to reelection more likely.
The Somali Youth League was founded in 1943 by 13 young Somalis who played a pivotal role in securing independence from Italian Somaliland. Later, the group became Somalia’s first political party, winning a majority government in the first general election held in March 1964.