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Hassan Sheikh Re-Elected As Somalia's President In Second Time

By Mohamed Hussein Mentalist
Article Hassan Sheikh Re-Elected As Somalia's President In Second Time
MAY 19, 2022 LISTEN

MOGADISHU: SOMALIA. Prior to the long and overdue presidential polls which were postponed in multiple times due to protracted squabbling among the political elites in Somalia. Somalia's police forces has declared that they will impose a complete lockdown or dawn to dusk curfew

to avert any disastrous event that may engulf the lives of innocent people. The curfew with an immediate effect in and around the capital beginning late Saturday to maintain security for the Sunday presidential election according to the directive, city dwellers were authorized to remain indoors while vehicles were proscribed or banned to operate from the city streets.

Somali police forces spokesmen Abdifatah Aden Hassan said the ban on pedestrian and vehicles traffic in Mogadishu takes effect Saturday at 9pm and will last until 6am on Monday. He said realizing the significance of movement of the people and vehicles in Mogadishu.

The police will ensure the overall security of the country during the long-delayed presidential polls in the Federal Republic of Somalia. Somalia's civil aviation authority that is responsible for Somalia's airspace also suspended all international and domestic flights due to the imminent elections

The federal lawmakers will meet in heavily-guarded former airforce base in close proximity at Mogadishu's Airport to choose the next president. The incumbent and lameduck president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo whose popularity has plummeted significantly for the last two years due to atrocities and repression against the dissidents is running for reelection against close to 40 other candidates.

Professor Abdiwahab Abdisamad, Chairman of the Nairobi-based Institute for Horn of Africa strategic studies, thinks the lockdown is unnecessary, counterproductive and futile there is not much grave threat coming from the outside of Mogadishu even inside Mogadishu, he said and hopefully, the public must abide by the instruction of the security. Tomorrow's election will go ahead so far in the country for almost 10 years.

Abdirahman Sheikh from the center for analysis and strategic studies in Mogadishu However, argues the lockdown is a wise move. The curfew imposed on Mogadishu at this time is valid and functional, he said the police have the right to provide security since security at the polling stations or venue of the election was transferred to African Union forces Known as (ATMIS).

According to the strategic analyst, the extremist group Alshebab poses a real threat to the election, Alshebab has launched several onslaughts in the run-up to the election. Eleven days ago, the group invaded an African Union base in the middle shabelle region, lynching at least 30 Burundian Soldiers in broad daylight, the group struck again with mortars on Wednesday, killing at least four people at the checkpoint near the airport where where presidential aspirants were addressing lawmakers and delivering their campaign speeches and political manifesto.

The military analyst elaborated further and expressed fear that Alshebab will carry out attacks, especially Tomorrow and tonight, during the time of the election. Huge explosions may be possible to take place near Mogadishu Airport. Alshebab has proven ability to fire mortar shells which can reach and target at the Airport and sneak vehicles loaded with explosives can be infiltrated into the city.

Somali police believe that if the streets of the capital are desolated, they can foil and repulse any attack before deadly disaster strikes. As soon as the curfew was implemented. Somalia's MPs met in heavily fortified Airport hangar on Sunday to vote for a new president as the country navigating through fierce battles, ongoing threats of violence and major food crisis.

In a crammed field of 36 aspirants including veteran politician and newcomers in the political space, two former presidents and ex-prime Minister were among the frontrunners according to political analysts, eventhough their rule failed to thwart the pervasive corruption. And war by armed insurgents and worst drought in four decades.

LONG ELECTORAL PROCESS.

Voting was a dream that eventually came true. Voting can only begin once two-thirds of the members of the both chambers of the parliament are present and any session will be null and void unless the quorum is met.

The electoral process could take several hours so far, four candidates exited from the race initially on Saturday and more are likely to follow suit during multiple rounds of voting narrowing the options until winner is declared.

The winner must secure a minimum of 184 votes; Somalia has not held a one-man one-vote election or universal suffrage since 1968 instead, polls follow a complex and cumbersome process of indirect model, where by state legislatures and clan delegates pick lawmakers for the national parliament, who in turn choose the president.

As Somalia holds the long-delayed presidential elections on Sunday. Thirty-nine candidates paid $40,000 each to be eligible for the elections. In a highly conservative and patriarchal society, only one female candidate, Fawzia Yusuf Adam, is on the list of politicians aspiring to be the next president of Somalia.

She held a number of positions including foreign minister and deputy prime Minister she is making an ambitious attempt to be Somalia's first female president in the history in Somalia. Women hardly got into politics or hold top public office in what remains a deeply conservative society. Fawzia Yusuf Aden, she is a legislator and prominent woman's rights advocate.

If elected and allowed to lead the country. I will strengthen the rule of law, complete the draft constitution and strictly comply with. I will implement true reconciliation across the country and apply restorative justice where the victims and perpetrators discuss face to face and address their grievances rebuilding the Somalia's national army and timely providing their rights including remuneration and bonuses and need for peace and security is the key to the stability.

My utmost priority is to revitalize the country's economy by developing the infrastructural and industrial sector Since Somalia has Africa's longest coast. My country has economic resources, including agriculture, fishing and livestock and I will modernize them to fight and obliterate abject poverty and create employment for the public so that they can pay taxes.

Abandoning the clan-based system for a proper democratic process is also my aspirations and believe to negotiate Alshebab and understand what they want. Negotiating and resolving FARC rebels in Columbia who were waging war against the government for over 40 years the new president of Columbia Negotiatied and reached a final peace agreement with FARC rebels and paved the way to be awarded for the Nobel peace prize. And Tamil Tigers in Srilanka and the last between the Taliban and Afghanistan in which the Taliban took over in Kabul on 15th August 2021 and the president Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

That deal also included the American Forces to withdraw from Afghanistan after two decades. US troops were deployed in Afghanistan in 2011 after twin towers attack in Newyork.

The challenges lie ahead Somalia's women are myriad notable cultural challenges surround the women, women are the leaders of many countries worldwide including Tanzania, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Latvia, therefore cultural and religious discrimination against women only happens in Somalia.

HASSAN.SHEIKH MOHAMUD MAKES A HISTORIC CAME BACK WINNING PRESIDENCY AGAIN.

Somalia's former leader Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has win a decisive and landslide victory over incumbent president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in a crucial race whose outcome would likely determine the future direction of Somalia, where two main forces -- centralists (Centripetal forces) and Federalist (Centrifugal forces) are battling it out. Today is May 15th, 2022 and it coincides with two major events with each having its own weight in Somali history..

About 75 years ago the Somali youth league, SYL which delivered independence to Somalia was established in 1960. Somalia's legislature has twice-elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his reelection was astounded dramatically following marathon voting process in Mogadishu on Sunday.

The voting took place on heavily-fortified airbase near to Mogadishu Airport with African Union forces securing the venue inside the hangar. Where secret balloting took place in a plenary session of the two chambers of the parliament or Bicameral legislature. The upper-house and Lower-house; 327 lawmakers cast their ballots for 36 presidential candidates in three rounds of voting.

The outgoing and lameduck president whose term in office has officially expired a year ago who fomented year-long constitutional crisis, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and his immediate predecessor Mohamud, competed in the final round of voting, requiring a simple majority to win .it was a rematch of the 2017 election when Farmajo thrashed Mohamud to became president while some political analysts described a political reprisal and retaliating an early electoral defeat.

Out of 327, Parliamentarians who voted unanimously and overwhelming for the final round. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud garnered 214 votes While his main rival Farmajo gained 110 votes, while three votes spoiled. Speaker Aden Mohamed Nour AKA "Madobe: declared that Hassan Sheikh is the legitimate and democratically elected president from this hours. Farmajo stood his side; conceded defeat, congratulated and vowed to collaborate with president-elect during live broadcast on national television.

"Appreciated to Almighty Allah for allowing us to accomplish our election tonight. I Thank those who voted for me and those who voted against me " Farmajo said " I want to welcome my brother, the new president. Congratulations. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was immediately sworn in by chief Justice of the Supreme Court as usual. The oath-taking ceremony is presided over by the president of the Supreme Court who also presided over the swearing in ceremony of the newly-elected federal lawmakers.

In a brief and impassionate speech, Mohamud acknowledged prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble for leading the election process and the credit of the election also goes to Roble who opted a peaceful and reconciliatòry approach and eventually held the long and overdue polls and played a crucial role for the regime change through ballot boxes not through guns and violence and also noted that PM Roble deserves to be awarded for Nobel peace Prize.

Mohamud also vowed that he will not launch a political witch hunt or vengeance against Farmajo's die-hard henchmen and supporters he said while critics misinterpreted his remarks by saying that the MPs have signed their own death warrant for electing Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

He said " If we have dissension we will use the country's laws to settle it" we also pledged to offer a general amnesty to the political prisoners who were incarcerated without due process.

Fierce battle broke out in the Twitter space between Pro and Anti Farmajo groups and each is offending and defaming each other's leader. For instance Pro Farmajo has posted threads and trolls saying the new president has pledged to buy rest of Mogadishu. Another tweet posted also saying the new president has signed an executive order to re-open human trafficking or smuggling and this will allow Somali women to be exported to the Gulf countries.

Anti Farmajo group has posted numerous threads and trolls some were saying five years of reign of terror and nightmare came to an end. No more dictatorship and uncertainty. The long-awaited saviour of the nation turned into brutal tyrant.

VOTING PROCESS.

The most competitive election ever seen or witnessed as the voting went into the third round after no candidate won the Two-thirds (220) majority required for a candidate to win outright in the first and second round. If we further analyze the first round of the voting and the top candidates involved are. 1) Deni 65. 2)Farmajo 59. 3) Hassan 52. 4) Khaire 47. 5) Sharif 39. 6) AAW 15. 7) Osoble 12. 8) Addow Ali Gees 8. 328 MPs voted in the first round.

Second round analysis. Top four candidates have progressed the second round and the candidates were: 1) Hassan 110. 2) Farmajo 84. 3) Deni 68. 4) Khaire 63. And if we deconstruct the final round two top candidates have qualified, Hassan Sheikh and Farmajo. Hassan Sheikh: 214. And Farmajo :110.

The first round, Mohamud finished third with 52 votes. But he finished on top in the second round with 110 votes. Farmajo finished second in the first round with 59 votes and 84 in the second round. The president of Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region, Said Abdullahi Deni and Former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre finished third and fourth in the race respectively that means they were knocked out from the race.

Mohamud was president from September 2012 to February 2017, in his previous administration he led with a " Six pillar Policy " prioritizing key issues although numerous challenges still need to be addressed. Plan topped by stability and rule of law, peace-building, reconciliation, economic recovery and national unity. When he absquatulated the power in February 8, 2017, the main challenge to Somalia's equanimity was insurgent groups. Alshebab, his successor failed to remove the threat that Alshebab poses and also failed to defeat militarily..

Earlier this month, the militant group invaded An African Union military base in town of El-baraf, lynching at least 30 Burundian peacekeepers. Mohamud was born and raised in the town of Jalalaqsi in the Hiran region. In 1955, he hails from Hawiye clan according to his genealogy and graduated from Somali national University with a bachelor degree in Technology and received a Master in technical education from Barkatullah University. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the same school in 2015.

In 1999, he co-founded the Somali institute of Management and Administration development. (SIMAD) in Mogadishu which later became a fully-fledged and one of the most influential Universities in Mogadishu. And became the first rectorof the University in 2008, Mohamudwas appointed as the CEO of Telcom Somalia.

In 2011, he entered politics and established the independent peace and development party (PDP) which elected him as party's chair, in August 2012, Mohamud was selected as member of parliament, the following month, he was elected the president of Somalia. Veteran and prominent politician who actively engaged in politics.

MARATHON AND CONTROVERSIAL ELECTION PROCESS.

Mohamud was elected by an indirect election as the country's leaders could not agree an election model on February 20, 2020, Farmajo signed and ratified a landmark election law that allowed popular voting. But it immediately hit a huge snag because the government did not control the entire country.

Key Somali subnational leaders and opposition politicians vehemently resisted and expressed ambivalence toward the initiative and sabotaged the entire process, accusing Farmajo of concentrating power at the center of the country by prioritizing the centralization ideology and undermining the role of other regions and thwarting decentralization ideology or devolution of power.

In June 2020, National independent Electoral commission. (NIEC) Chair Halimo Ismail Ibrahim ruled out holding direct election or Universal suffrage by Nov, 27, 2020 as scheduled. The date the parliament's mandate expired. Halimo proposed and gave the parliament two options; an election based on biometric registration that she proposed to take place in August 2021, and manual based registration that could have been held in March 2021.

She cited plethora of hurdles and proposed of buying voting machines and election equipments , security election centers and enacting mass awareness campaign would take months to accomplish and advocated proportional representation model often employ in post-conflict and fragile states. Her remarks sparked a long political tussle that coerced a return to indirect polls where clan and regional leaders played a role in who is elected to parliament and this gave a greenlight to the federal member states to manipulate the electoral process and handpicked their favoured candidate.

On Sept, 17, 2020, the sides concurred that elections will take place in two electoral constituencies in each of the federal member states and in Mogadishu and no gerrymandering will be allowed. They also agreed and approved that 101 electoral delegates would elect each lawmaker.

The September 17 agreement was a political treaty reached by the National consultative council (NCC) and encountered a colossal setback on April 12, 2021 when the Somalia's national legislature controversially and unilaterally extended the mandate of the parliament and the term of the president by two years

this preluded bleak and gloomy future and lead to violence and bloody skirmishes that engulfed and scarred the capital and pervasive denunciation from the global community and eventually coerced the president to address the lawmakers and requested them to revoke or rescind their early decision to extend two more years.

On May 1, the Somali federal lawmakers accepted the plea of the president and retreated from the controversial term extension plan and approved a return to the Sept,17 agreement on that same day. Farmajo has officially handed over the security, responsibility and management of the election process to the Prime Minister Roble On July, 29, 2021, the first MP was elected On May 6, 2022 the last MP was elected.

Allegations of voter irregularities, vote-buying and ballot-stuffing overshadowed the entire electoral process and the election results of at least four seats were nullified or annulled, amid fraud concerns, two were later approved one was recontested and one remains nullified, Roble himself admitted the election was not taking place as scheduled and purged or fired several members of the election dispute resolution team.

FORMIDABLE AND DAUNTING TASKS AND CHALLENGES LIE AHEAD OF THE NEW GOVERNMENT.

The president encounters similar challenges and stumbling blocks that hamstrung, impeded and stymied the country's progress in addition to the recurrent and perennial drought coupled with the resurgence of Alshebab onslaughts, the country's federal system is not functioning properly and smoothly, Somalia has become a festering scar in global politics and hot issue in global forums Somalia should no longer be the epicenter of all evils.

Mahad Wasuge the executive director and the founder of Somali Public Agenda. Local Think-tank that conducts series of research and analysis of Somali politics, challenges ahead and best way forward says key among the challenges settling the draft constitution and giving greenlight to public plebiscite and constitutional crisis and ambiguity must end.

We have federal system but it is being abrogated and dismantled and remains incomplete. Constitution must be a priority number one he said. He also noted that the new president needs to work on assuring the Somali people directly elect the next president, long-awaited dream to materialize and the election model the country is going to adopt must be stated in the constitution.

The other key challenge is tackling country's security crisis Alshebab has been fighting the Somali government for almost two decades. Hussein Sheikh Mohamud Co-founder and researcher at Hiraal Institute local Think-tank that studies and analyze the security challenges said

the new president must inspire top commanders of the security apparatus which he demotivated in his previous administration by saying a soldier who express dissatisfaction about his salary per month must leave from the army, restore discipline among the military, provide moral and material support by utilizing all the available resources. The army has mingled in politics he said. The first task is to distance from and to separate the army from politics.

Hussein Said the country needs a clear national security policy and strategy, better-equipped army with highly sophisticated training and unified front against Alshebab. " Alshebab can be defeated " he said the crucial thing is to have a well-defined overall national security policy between the federal government and the federal member states. He added the country needs healing, reconciliation and re-establishment of constitutional order, rule of law, One-man one-vote instead of putting the future of the country to the hands of corrupted MPs.

On the other hand. Newly-sworn president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Tuesday welcomed US decision to redeploy troops to the Horn of Africa country. In Twitter post, Mohamud's office said that the president appreciated his US counterpart Joe Biden

for authorizing the deployment of American troops to Somalia. Trump's withdrawal was wrong and hasty decision. The decision to withdraw US forces were made in November 2020 Former US president Donald Trump pull around 700 American Troops out from East African country the withdrawal resolution was made during the final month of his presidency.To reinstate the disrupted counterterrorism operations and start with the new president is the right decision and it come at the right time.

President-elect Hassan Sheikh Mohamud held a meeting with the outgoing president Farmajo where they discussed the peaceful transition of the president's office, former president Farmajo appointed presidential delegation organizing committee leading the director General of the national presidency. Dr.Mohamed Abdullahi Isse to prepare and organize the transfer ceremony immediately.

President Hassan sheikh is expected to officially take over the presidential office in Villa Somalia next week after a transfer ceremony. Several countries have relayed their congratulatory messages to Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on his electoral victory on Sunday. Invitations to the ceremony have repeatedly been sent out to several countries and multilateral organizations including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Turkey, Djibouti, Ethopia, Kenya, China, The US, UK, the European union, Arab league and African Union.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud longtime, Veteran academic and after earning a Master degree or advanced postgraduate degree from Bhopal University. ( Presently known as Barkatullah University) in India. He returned to Somalia and worked with various NGO's and UN bureaus during the Civil war. He remained in Somalia throughout the 22-years Civil War unlike many other Somali intellectuals serving as an academic campaigner and peace activist.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

MOHAMED HUSSEIN MENTALIST: Author, blogger, prominent researcher, Horn of Africa strategic Affairs analyst and senior lecturer at Mogadishu University.

AUTHOR: Holds BA in English Language and literature at Mogadishu University and BA in Business administration at Simad University. Master of arts in applied Linguistics at Kisii University in Nairobi as Master of peace and conflict studies at Uppsala University in Sweden.

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