News The African Way

Former Prime Minister, a U.S Citizen, Elected Somali’s New President

Former Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who holds duals Somali-U.S citizenship, was on Wednesday declared Somali elected President and immediately sworn in.

He vowed to crack down on corruption and Al-Shabaab militants.

The 55-year-old former premier, whose hails from the Darod clan and who goes by the nickname “Farmajo”, won after incumbent president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud admitted defeat in a second round of voting by lawmakers.

Fears of attacks by extremist group al-Shabab limited the election to the lawmakers instead of the population at large. Members of the upper and lower houses of the legislature voted at a heavily guarded former air force base in the capital, Mogadishu, while a security lockdown closed the international airport.

Civilians took to the streets and soldiers fired celebratory gunfire in the capital Mogadishu which had been near-deserted for two days with roads and schools closed and residents urged to stay indoors for fear of a strike on the capital by Shabaab militants, geeskaafrika reported.

Chicago Tribune also reported that, Mohamud held a slight lead over Farmajo, 88 votes to 72, after the first round of 21 candidates, but Farmajo held a clear lead after the second round among the three candidates remaining.

Farmajo after taking the oath to office stressed that his victory represents the interest of the Somali people; adding that, “this victory belongs to Somali people, and this is the beginning of the era of the unity, the democracy of Somalia and the beginning of the fight against corruption”.

Farmajo, who holds degrees from the State University of New York in Buffalo, was prime minister for eight months before leaving the post in 2011. He had lived in the United States since 1985, when he was sent there with Somalia’s foreign affairs ministry.

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