One pulls out of Somalia presidential race
The Somalia presidency will now be contested by 23 candidates after one contender withdrew on Saturday.
Mr Abdullahi Ali Hassan pulled out saying the field was too crowded.
“I feel that the field is too crowded for a self respecting person to remain in the race,” said Mr Hassan, an engineer.
Those still in the race continue with the campaigns with the last batch expected to address a joint parliamentary session in Mogadishu later on Sunday.
“The last cohort will address the legislators on Sunday,” said Mr Abdurahman Duale Bayle, the electoral committee chairman.
The second batch addressed a similar session in Mogadishu on Saturday.
Each of them was accorded 15 minutes to explain their agenda for the Horn of Africa country.
The first seven, including the incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, addressed the joint session on Thursday.
The 23 are all men after two women; Ms Faduma Dayib and Ms Anab Dahir, who had earlier declared their candidacy, withdrew later in 2016.
Leading contenders include President Mohamoud, incumbent Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke, a former transitional president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and a former transitional PM Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.
Other candidates include Abdurahman Mohamed Farole, a former leader of Puntland, a semiautonomous authority in Northeastern Somalia, former Mogadishu mayor Mohamed Ahmed Nur alias Tarzan, former Somali ambassador to Kenya Mohamed
Ali Nur alias Ameeriko and Jibril Ibrahim Abdulle, the director of Centre for Reconciliation and Dialogue (CRD), a think tank in the south central regions of Somalia.
The voting for the next president is scheduled to take place in the capital Mogadishu on Wednesday.
“The 275-memebr Lower House and the 54-member Upper House will vote in a joint session,” said Mr Bayle.
He said the casting of the ballots would take place at Afasyooni, a complex next to Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport.