Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s victory prompts celebrations and hopes he can tackle Somalia’s multiple challenges
She did however welcome the election of Farmajo. “History in the making. Lawmakers have clearly chosen the choice of the people. They’ve saved #Somalia!! It is a new dawn, a new beginning!,” she tweeted when the results were announced.
This election, which has been largely paid for by the US and EU states, has provoked fierce interest from rival Middle Eastern powers keen to extend their influence in a strategically important part of the world. The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have all been accused of funding the campaigns of specific candidates and thus indirectly fuelling corruption.
A win for the incumbent would not have pleased western powers. British parliamentarians reported last year that “there is a tangible sense amongst western donors that President Mohamud’s government has not been the fresh start that Somalia needed”.
Mohamud, who got 97 votes to the winner’s 184, accepted the result and urged “all Somalis to support the new president and work with him and his government”.
In Nairobi, the capital of Somalia’s powerful neighbour Kenya, members of the Somali diaspora also celebrated. In the neighbourhood of Eastleigh, known as “little Mogadishu” due to its huge Somali community, a group of businessmen invited fellow Somalis to dinner as the election results were announced.
“We are … celebrating. We watched for the whole election process today. We are very happy. I hope I will be able to return to my country because the new president just declared he will bring back peace,” said Khalid Abdullahi, 27, a Somali refugee who lives in Nairobi.
Source; The Guardian by Jason Burke Africa correspondent