Somalia elects Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo as new President in historic elections

  • February 9, 2017

Historic is the word for the recently concluded presidential elections in the Federal Republic of Somalia which declared Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo as its new President.

The successful conduction of elections is extraordinary as the country is trying to assemble its first fully functional Central Government in a quarter-century.

14,000 elders and prominent regional figures chose 275 members of the Parliament and 54 Senators. These Parliamentarians cast their ballot (and not ordinary citizens) in the voting that began on Wednesday to choose the eventual winner.

Interestingly, Farmajo, who has previously served as the Prime Minister of the country, holds a dual Somali-United States citizenship.

The elections were held amidst tight security in a heavily-guarded former air force base at the capital, Mogadishu due to fear of the ongoing al-Shabab militant attacks. Allegedly, the process was rife with corruption, however, ‘a vote for Formajo is being considered a vote against corruption’.

Matt Bryden, chairman of Sahan Research and Development Organisation, a political think tank covering the horn of Africa, considered the elections as ‘an ad hoc political compromise agreed by Somalia political leaders.’ He told media reporters,“It tells us that we are in the midst of a long transition and in theory, based on the provisional constitution we should be having one-person-one-vote election this year, but that hasn’t been possible because of security constraints but also because the government did not focus on preparing the ground.”

The incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud conceded his defeat and applauded Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo on his election. He said, “History was made, we have taken this path to democracy, and now I want to congratulate Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.”

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