Somalia’s ex-president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud re-elected for second term

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Somalia’s former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was re-elected on Sunday for a second non-consecutive term in a vote held behind blast walls at a heavily-guarded airport hanger in Mogadishu. He won 214 votes against 110 for his rival, the incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

Mohamud, 66, was endorsed by the President of Puntland Saeed Abdullahi Deni and former President Sharif Sheikh, who were among candidates vying for the post, to defeat Farmajo in a second round runoff.

Speaking shortly after Mohamud was declared winner of Somalia’s presidential election, Farmajo conceded defeat and congratulated him. The new president repeated his pledge that he would not seek retaliation and would work on healing wounds sustained by the nation over the past years.

UK Foreign Minister Vicky Ford and Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs joined the chorus of congratulations to the new Somali leader.

On Saturday, international partners urged Somali MPs to vote their conscience and choose a man who can advance the country’s interests and restore peace in a nation plagued by more than three decades of conflict.

During his previous term, donor nations criticized Mohamud for not doing enough to fight graft. He also failed miserably in ending Al-Shabaab’s insurgency and growing attacks on government institutions in the capital. Reconciliation, restoration of stability and completion of draft constitution are among the daunting tasks ahead of him in the next four years.

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