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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs