The Somalia presidential electoral committee has cleared 24 candidates to vie for the top seat.
The committee, composed of members of the Lower and Upper houses, also announced that the election will take place in Mogadishu on February 8.
The candidates include incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke, former transitional president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and former transitional PM Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.
Others include Mr Abdurahman Mohamed Farole, a former leader of Puntland, a semiautonomous authority in northeastern Somalia, former Mogadishu mayor Mohamed Ahmed Nur alias Tarzan and former ambassador to Kenya Mohamed Ali Nur.
Mr Ali Nur is the director of the Centre for Reconciliation and Dialogue, a think tank in the south central regions.
The 24 candidates are scheduled to address a joint session of the 275-member Lower and the 54-member Upper houses next month.
"Each candidate will be allocated 15 minutes to express his policy," said the electoral committee chairman, Mr Abdurahman Duale Bayle.
"No female candidates will contest the race to Villa Somalia, the state house in Mogadishu," stated the electoral committee secretary, Mr Osman Haji Ali.
Two women, Ms Faduma Dayib and Ms Anab Dahir, have withdrawn from the contest.
President Mohamoud's four-year term ended on September 10, 2016.
The government declared that it could not hold a one-man, one-vote election, and initiated the indirect voting involving members of the Lower and Upper houses.
The regional administrations, including Puntland, Somaliland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Southwest and Jubaland are also part of the electoral colleges.
Author: Abdulkadir Khalif