Former Somali president returns to power and pledges to bring Somalia back to stability
By Nimi Princewill, CNN
Somalia’s parliament elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud the country’s tenth president on Sunday in a vote broadcast live on national television.
Mohamud previously served as president from September 2012 to February 2017 and is now the country’s first twice-elected leader of Somalia’s state.
After his election, he pledged to “work on a stable policy that leads Somalia to agreement and the world to agreement”.
In the vote organized by lawmakers and broadcast by Somali National Television (SNTV), Mohamud defeated incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, whose regime came under scrutiny late last year as it suspended powers of the Prime Minister amid an ongoing power struggle, prompting calls for calm from the US and UK and raising fears of political violence.
Farmaajo conceded defeat early Monday and congratulated Mohamud, calling for support for the new administration.
“I congratulate the President-elect, my brother, HE @HassanSMohamud on his election as the 10th President of our nation. I urge all my fellow citizens to support and pray for his success. I would like to express my gratitude to all who have contributed to harmonious and peaceful elections,” Farmaajo said in a Posting on Twitter.
Mohamud benefited from an outpouring of goodwill messages about his victory, including one from neighboring Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed.
“I would like to congratulate former President @HassanSMohamud on his re-election as President of the Federal Republic of Somalia. I look forward to working closely with you on shared bilateral and regional interests,” Aby tweeted Monday.
The presidential election had been delayed for more than a year due to a political crisis aggravated by the power struggle between Farmaajo and suspended Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.
The incoming government would aim to contain Somalia’s burgeoning challenges bequeathed by the Farmaajo administration. Somalia is facing its worst drought in decades and is grappling with a high cost of living and a burgeoning Islamist Al-Shabaab sect that continues to launch deadly attacks across swathes of the country, including the capital. Mogadishu.
Incumbent President Mohamud has accused Farmaajo of failing to bring the deadly terror group under control since he took power in 2017.
“Farmajo promised to eradicate Al-Shabaab from Somalia in just two years when he took office in 2017. He also promised victims of terrorism that his government would quickly compensate them. Nevertheless, it proved another broken promise,” Mohamud written in an article of which he is the author ahead of the presidential election, adding that “…Somalia in 2022 should be better protected against Al-Shabaab and better integrated and governed as a federal state.”
Long designated a foreign terrorist organization by the United States, Al-Shabaab fought to overthrow the central government and establish a regime based on its strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia.
Earlier in May, the brutal sect overran a major military base housing African Union forces in Mogadishu, killing a number of Burundian peacekeepers.
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