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  • Writer's pictureRCS Ottawa

Expectations run high for Somalia’s new president

Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, a former prime minister and U.S. dual citizen, won Somalia's long-postponed presidential election Wednesday. Voting took place at the international airport under heavy security. Somali citizens were not able to directly participate in the vote due to threats from extremist group al-Shabab, but Farmajo's victory was widely seen as a reflection of popular support.

Legislators appointed by the country's powerful clan leaders cast the actual ballots and ultimately unseated the favorite, incumbent president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. Farmajo, 55, is known for his anti-corruption work during eight months he served as prime minister six years ago. When he was asked to step down in 2011, hundreds of people took to the streets of the capital, Mogadishu, demanding that he stay on.

“This victory represents the interest of the Somali people. 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 said after taking the oath of office.

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