Somali elections: 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 elected twice as Somalia’s head of state.

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

In the vote by lawmakers and broadcast on Somali National Television (SNTV), Mohamud defeated outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, whose government came under scrutiny late last year when it suspended the prime minister’s powers amid a ongoing power struggle, triggering calls for calm from the US and UK, and raising concerns about political violence.

Farmaajo admitted defeat on Monday morning and congratulated Mohamud, urging support for the incoming administration.

“I congratulate the president-elect, my brother, HE @HassanSMohamud on his election as our nation’s 10th president. I urge all my fellow citizens to support and pray for his success. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed to smooth and election peaceful,” Farmaajo said in a post on twitter.

Mohamud has enjoyed a slew 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 being re-elected President of the Federal Republic of Somalia. I look forward to working closely with you on common bilateral and regional interests.” abiy 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 will try to contain the growing challenges in Somalia left by the Farmaajo administration. Somalia is facing its worst drought in decades and grappling with high costs of living and a resurgent Islamist al-Shabaab sect that continues to launch deadly attacks in swaths of the country, including the capital Mogadishu.

Returning President Mohamud has accused Farmaajo of failing to rein in the deadly terror group 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. However, this has turned out to be another broken promise,” Mohamud wrote in an article he wrote in the run-up to presidential elections, 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 has fought to topple the central government and establish rule based on its strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

In early May, the brutal sect invaded a major military base housing African Union forces in Mogadishu and killed several Burundi peacekeepers.

Leave a Comment