“Rather than in favor of Hassan Sheikh, the parliament voted against Sheikh Sharif. Civil society observers, Somalis abroad, the Somali population were all asking for one thing: Change”, said to MISNA the MP Sharif Mohammed Said, a day after the parliament vote that chose Somalia’s first democratically elected President in years.
Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, class of 1955, originally from Mogadishu and from a long-line of politicians, a rights activist also on an international level, obtained 190 votes on 269 in the second round, leaving former president Sheikh Sharif Hassan with a mere 79 votes.
“He is an intellectual, a former university professor and a very revered figure. His election was celebrated late into the night in Mogadishu. The people hope for change and believe that he can bring Somalia toward a new era, without violence and chaos”, added the legislator, adding that the new President personally promised to him that his “first State visit will be in Italy”.
Exiting President Sheikh Sharif Hassan admitted defeat and in an address to the nation last night, wished the new leader “a good job”.
“The two men know each other well, they are of the same Abgaal clan, but different sub-clans”, explained Said to MISNA, rejecting speculations of some observers, who suggested that Sharif only stepped aside because of his strong influence on the new President.
In his address to parliament ahead of his election, Mohamoud had promised that if elected he would continue on the path toward peace and reconciliation, in respect and collaboration with the international community. An agenda that will in all probability be presented at the swearing ceremony to be held before the end of the week.
Based on the Constitution, the President will remain in office for five years. Among his first duties will be the nomination of a prime minister who will select a new Somali government.