Elections in Somalia: Former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud returns to power

Mohamud previously served as president from September 2012 to February 2017 and is now the country’s first leader to be twice elected head of state of Somalia.

After his election, he pledged to “work towards a stable policy that will bring Somalia to agreement and the world to agreement.”

In a vote held by lawmakers and broadcast by Somali National Television (SNTV), Mohamud defeated outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo, whose rule came under scrutiny late last year when he suspended the powers of the prime minister against the backdrop of an ongoing power struggle, prompting calls for calm from the US and UK and raising fears of political violence.

Farmajo conceded defeat early Monday morning and congratulated Mohamud, urging support for the new administration.

“I congratulate the President-elect, my brother, His Excellency @HassanSMohamud, on his election as the 10th President of our country. I call on all my fellow citizens to support and pray for his success. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed to a smooth and peaceful election,” Farmaaho said in a post on twitter.

Mohamud received a lot of positive feedback about his victory, including from the prime minister of neighboring Ethiopia, 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 common bilateral and regional interests,” Abiy tweeted Monday.

Presidential elections have been delayed for more than a year due to a political crisis exacerbated by a power struggle between Farmaaho and ousted Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Robl.

The incoming government will seek to contain the growing problems of Somalia bequeathed by the Farmaho administration. Somalia is facing its worst drought in decades and is battling a high cost of living and a resurgent Islamist al-Shabaab sect that continues to carry out deadly attacks throughout the country, including the capital Mogadishu.

Returning President Mohamud accused Farmaho of failing to rein in the deadly terrorist group since taking power in 2017.

Farmajo promised to destroy al-Shabaab in Somalia in just two years when he took office in 2017. He also promised the victims of terrorism that his government would quickly compensate them. However, this was yet another breach of promise.” – Mohamud wrote in the article he wrote ahead of the presidential election, adding that “… Somalia in 2022 should be better protected from Al-Shabaab, better integrated and run as a federal state.”

Long recognized by the United States as a foreign terrorist organization, Al-Shabaab fought to overthrow the central government and establish a rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

Earlier in May, a violent sect took over a major African Union military base in Mogadishu, killing several Burundian peacekeepers.

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