Somalia: Southwest leader resigns, drops out presidential race
BAIDOA, Somalia - Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden has on Tuesday announced his resignation as the president of Southwest regional State amid increasing pressure and interference by Somalia's Central Government in the region's next election, Garowe Online reports.
The embattled leader whose four-year term in office expires at the end of this month has also dropped out of the regional presidential race which is scheduled to be held on 17th November 2018.
In a statement from his office, Aden, 64, left the top seat, citing the interest of the country, his people and the Federal Member State he was leading since 2014 following weeks of fierce political gridlock with the UN-backed Government in Mogadishu.
“Starting From today, the 17th November, I hereby announced that I have officially stepped down from my post as the president of Southwest state, and also decided to withdraw his candidacy and bid for re-election” reads the statement in part.
In addition, the immediate former Southwest State president handed over power to the speaker of the regional parliament, Abdulkadir Sharif Shekhuna Maye who will be holding the office on acting bases until a new president is elected.
The Federal Minister of Interior for the Federal Government of Somalia, Abdi Mohamed Sabriye was present at the handing-over event held at the state Presidential Palace in Baidoa city.
Several candidates, including Government-backed politicians and former Al-Shabab deputy leader, Mukhtar Robow are vying for the regional presidency amid deadlock.