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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid