Somalia’s New President is a US Citizen

East Africa  |  02.08.17   By admin

President Faramajo

Abdullahi Mohammed Farmaajo has been sworn in as the President of Somalia.  Incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud conceded defeat after two rounds of voting and congratulated the new President.

The President is a former prime minister and diplomat has dual Somali – US Citizenship.  He is a likely ally in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) as Somalia attempts to dismantle the powerful al-Shabaab terrorist network.   Al-Shabaab is responsible for regular terrorist attacks around the East African block.  Perhaps, they are best known for an assault on an upscale Kenyan shopping mall that took the lives of 67 people in  2013.  There was talk of bribery by candidates despite a rule that bars the candidates from carrying their phones and more than $300 cash to the ballot area on election day.

Security

Security was tight in and around Mogadishu, with all flights in and out of Aden Adde airport canceled.  All the key roadways were closed, and a travel ban was issued.  AMISOM, the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia and local Somali National Security Forces maintained a strict security blanket to ward off potential attacks by al-Shabaab.

The Voting Process in Somalia

The ballot only required two rounds as opposed to the three planned, as two candidates dropped out, giving Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo the win.  The voting process in Somalia is unique and for its emergence from being a recent lawless state.  Ordinary citizens don’t vote.  Instead, 135 Clan leaders elect 14,025 delegates who in turn vote for 275 members of parliament and 54 senators.  The combined Parliament and Senate then vote for the President.  The President then appoints the Prime Minister and his/her Cabinet.

Voting Process in Somalia (Courtesy Al Jazeera)

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