Thursday, February 23, 2017

Somalis embrace new president as a sign of hope by Bashir Goth | Special to Gulf News

People expect Farmajo to take the nation back to the days when it was cited as an example of democracy and good governance in Africa

A new president took over the reigns of power in Somalia on February 8 after a resounding victory over his predecessor through an election in which votes were on sale for the highest bidder and millions of dollars changed hands in a country where more than 73 per cent of people live under $2 (Dh7.35) per day according to a World Food Programme report in June 2015.

Despite this monumental corruption, which the New York Times described as a ‘Milestone of Corruption’, Somali people have celebrated around the world as 311-member clan-picked lawmakers elected the new Somali president at an airport hanger protected by African peacekeeping forces. The new President, Mohammad Abdullahi Farmajo, who had worked as prime minister from November 2010 to June 2011, comes at a very critical time of the country’s political situation. He defeated his closest contestants, the outgoing president Hassan Shaikh Mahmoud, who was in office since 2012, and Shaikh Sharif Shaikh Ahmad, who held the office from 2009 to 2012, from a list of 24 candidates.
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