Somalia’s new President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud promises to be a leader for all

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Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud was elected as Somalia’s new President by the country’s legislators on Monday evening. Mahmoud is making a comeback having led the country between 2012 and 2017.

He succeeds Mohammed Abullahi Mohammed “Farmajo”.  The contest attracted thirty six candidates. The voting process was delayed for more than a year due to political disagreements, but a threat by the International Monetary Fund to pull the plug on its support for the country saw the country hold the polls.

The voting process took place under the supervision of heavy security. Mohamoud won more than 165 votes. His party the Union for Peace and Development party holds the majority of seats in both houses of parliament.

He was sworn in immediately after the results were announced. A devastating drought has left millions on the verge of starvation and insecurity has been on the rise with increased Al-Shabab attacks.

In his acceptance speech, Mahmoud promised to be a leader for all and to mend fences with all political rivals.

Across the borders, Somalia’s neighbours will be watching to see if the new leader will reach out following a political quarrel with both Kenya and Ethiopia.

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