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Somalia's new president faces bumpy road ahead
February 20, 2017, 11:21 am
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Somalia's newly elected president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, popularly called Farmaajo, faces a daunting task ahead as he tries to put together the first fully functioning central government in a country torn apart by nearly a quarter-century of bring together a country torn apart by political strife and a protracted militant insurgency.

A former prime minister, diplomat, professor and politician,who holds dual Somali-US citizenship, Mr. Mohamed named the new leader after two rounds of voting on 8 February and immediately took the oath of office.

In a new hope for election results in Africa, the incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud conceded defeat. "History was made, we have taken this path to democracy, and now I want to congratulate Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo," said the former president as he stepped down.

Fears of attacks by the militant group al-Shabab meant that elections could not be conducted across the country and so it was limited to the country's legislators, who voted at a heavily-guarded former air force base in the capital, Mogadishu. The voting process began after 14,000 elders and prominent regional figures choosing 275 members of parliament and 54 senators, who in turn chose whether to back President Mohamud for a second term or one of 21 rivals. It was a huge change from the elections in 2012 when just 135 elders picked the MPs, who chose the president.

 

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