Somalia’s semi autonomous Puntland state is set to vote for the region’s leader on January 8.
Seven candidates on Saturday night announced they had dropped out of the Puntland Presidential race.
The regional leader will be voted by 66 parliamentarians in the asninistrative capital Garowe.
So far 29 candidates are vying for the presidency including the incumbent.
The candidates vying for the regional presidency include incumbent Abdiweli Ahmed Gaas.
Those challenging his second term are;
1.Abduqaadir Yaasin Abdule
2- Said Abdullahi Mohamed (Deni)
3.Assad Osman Abdullahi (Diyaano)
5- Ali Abdi Awaare
6- Dahir Mire Jibril
7- Dr. Bashiir Mohamed Hussein
8- Gen. Khaliif Issa Mudan
9- Abdi Farah Said (Juha)
10- Said Mohamed Hirsi (S.Dheere)
11- Dr. Adan Mohamed Issa (Gaadaale)
12- Farah Ali Shire Jama
13- Jibril Mohamed Yusuf (Saajin)
14- Ali Haji Warsame Ahmed
15- Mohamed Osman Ali Maad
16- Mahamud Abdi Yare (Garlibaah)
17- Abdisamad Mohamed Gallan
18- Mohamed Abdullahi Hussein Shoortaaye
- Ali Ahmed Gamuute
20- Mohamed Said Hirsi Moorgan
21- Mohamed Ahmed Jama Shaaalle
22- Haji Mohamed Yassin Ismail
23- Hussein Ahmed Hasan fiqi
24- Dr. Sadiq Mohamed Ahmed (Eenow)
25- Mohamed Abdullahi Hussein
26- Mahamud Khalif Hassan (Jabiye)
Puntland administration introduced measures to ensure a smooth election and at the same time avert what it terms as possible interference from the federal governement.
Federal government officials are banned from travelling to the state during preparation for the elections and the poll day.
Puntland has conducted indirect presidential and parliamentary elections in 1998, 2001, 2005 and 2014.
Abdiweli Gaas is the fifth president of the region and is seeks another five year term.