Somali soldiers prepare to secure the capital on the eve of presidential elections, at a police academy in Mogadishu, Somalia Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
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as Somalia faces historic presidential voteUnlike in elections elsewhere, Somalia's next leader will not be chosen by popular vote but by legislators, who were selected by the country's powerful, intricate network of clans.The United States and others have pressed Somalia to move ahead with elections as a symbol of recovery.Among the 22 candidates, many who also hold foreign passports, Somalia's incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is seeking re-election and may have an edge to win a second five-year term.But rival candidate and Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke has accused regional countries of interfering in the electoral process by pushing for certain candidates.Many in Somalia anticipate a highly contested race that likely will see a further round between the two candidates with the greatest number of votes.To ensure that Wednesday's election happens, thousands of soldiers were fanning out across Mogadishu, restricting traffic on major streets to reduce the threat of violence by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab, which has threatened to disrupt the vote.At least one candidate put a positive spin on the election.
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