Mustafa Muhumed Omer, 45, has been nominated as acting president of the Somali region until the next party congress 2020, it was announced. The Ethiopian-Somali People’s Democratic Party (ESPDP)’s executive committee has elected him to be acting president in its meeting held today, BBC Amharic reported.
Mustafa had served as a humanitarian liaison officer for the United Nations in Mogadishu, Zimbabwe, the United Arab Emirates and Kenya. Prior to that, he held different positions in the Somali region until he was forced to flee.
Though Mustafa is not a member of ESPDP, the party’s rules and regulations permit him to be an interim president, Ahmed Abdi Mohamed “Ilkacase” who has been leading the region for the past two weeks said. Ilkacase had replaced the once-powerful president Abdi Mohamoud Omar (Abdi Iley) who was forced to step down after the intervention of the federal army. It was not disclosed why Ilkacase wouldn’t continue with the position.
Mustafa has also been elected deputy chairman of the party, second to the chairman, minister of government communications affairs office, Ahmed Shide.
Mustafa has long been a vocal critic of Abdi Iley on issues of human right abuses and abuse of power. Mustafa has a B.A in Economics from Addis Ababa University and a master’s degree in Agriculture Economics from Imperial College, London.
“I have known Mustefa Omer for nearly two years now and have had extensive conversations with him on the politics of Somali regional state, Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. I can’t think of a more intelligent, decent, and perceptive candidate that can move the Somali region forward,” Awol Allo, a lecturer in law at Keele University School of Law tweeted.