Africa

Somali political leaders OK presidential polls for Dec. 28

Somalia's political leaders say they have agreed to hold presidential polls on Dec. 28 after three delays and amid allegations of bribery, fraud and voter intimidation.

Presidential polls had been set for Nov. 30, but the electoral commission last month announced they would be in December.

In a statement issued after political stakeholders met late Thursday, Somali leaders said they expected a new parliament to elect a speaker on Dec. 22 before parliament members elect a president Dec. 28.

The delays reflect the challenges of holding elections in this Horn of Africa nation riven by clan rivalries and threatened by Islamic extremists opposed to Western-style democracy.

Somalia's president is not elected by popular vote. Some 14,000 delegates selected by their clans elect parliament members, who elect the president.