News / Africa

Somalia Elects a New President

Somalia's new president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud Sept. 10, 2012
Somalia's new president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud Sept. 10, 2012
Gabe Joselow
Somalia's parliament on Monday elected political moderate Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the country's new president.  The lesser-known candidate's landslide victory is a major step in the country's long-running political transition.
 
Hundreds of Somali delegates burst into a rendition of the country's national anthem after Mr. Mohamud was announced as the country's next president.
 
His victory came as a surprise to many observers in Mogadishu who had predicted an easy win for the incumbent President of the Transitional Federal Government Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
 
Members of parliament, voting anonymously, chose Mr. Mohamud over Mr. Sharif in the second round of voting, giving him 190 votes compared to 79 for the incumbent president.
 
After coming in second behind Mr. Sharif in a first round of voting, two other candidates, including the incumbent prime minister, dropped out of the race and threw their support behind Mr. Mohamud.
 
The president-elect took the oath office soon after his victory was announced.  He then congratulated the Somali people for coming to the end of a hard-traveled road, and asked for their support going forward. “I want to ask the Somali people to lend me their helping hand," he said, “in order to establish a functioning government throughout Somalia," he said. 
 
Outgoing President Ahmed, who conceded defeat after the vote, promised to work with the new government.  He said he told the country's security chiefs to take orders from the new president.
 
One of Mohamud's supporters, parliament member Abdullahi Mohammed Hersi, says the election represents a new direction for the country. “The right man has been elected, change has occurred, and I'm happy that now we have a new leader which has a vision of a new Somalia.  And I think that the Somali community and the Somali population are happy about the outcome of this election," he said. 
 
The new president is 56 years old and a lifelong civil society activist.  With a background in education, Mohamud was one of the founders of the Somali Institute of Management and Administration Development in 1999.  Last year, he became the first chairman of Somalia's Peace and Development Party.
 
Before the election, Mohamud said it is important for Somali politicians to look beyond the clan lines that divide the country. “In a clan setting, you can only produce a clan leader; you cannot produce a national leader.  Here, in the political parties, we intend to produce national leaders.  Our main focus is that," he said. 
 
United Nations Special Representative to Somalia Augustine Mahiga says the election brings a decisive end to Somalia's transition period.  He said “Somalia must now focus on stabilization, reconciliation, and building sustainable and accountable institutions.”
 
President Mohamud will serve a four-year term in office.  An official inauguration ceremony is expected in the coming days.
 

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Larry Poke from: Alabama
September 10, 2012 8:16 PM
Does this mean their coast will be rid of murdering pirates? If not this election is meaningless.

In Response

by: Carlon from: Africa
September 13, 2012 5:34 AM
If you are truly concerned about the events around the horn of Africa, particularly piracy, then you should research them fully. These things are often far more complex than one sees in the media.

In Response

by: Dee from: Africa
September 11, 2012 6:28 AM
as important it is to secure the coastlines, nation building is critical and peace is no. 1 my Alabama friend! the new president must focus no. 1 and the rest must follow, such us, national unification, health for all, education for all and other basic human rights needs!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid