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Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014 - 5:11:05 AM
Somalia Federal Parliament elects Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as President

MOGADISHU, Somalia 10 Sep 2012 (Garowe Online) - Somalia's federal parliament has elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the war-torn Horn of Africa country's new president on Monday, marking the first presidential election to be held inside Somalia for the first time since the outbreak of civil war in 1991, Garowe Online reports.

President-elect Hassan Sheikh Mohamud won 190 parliament votes during the third round of elections, defeating challenger and former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who received 79 votes, a defeat by a margin of over 70% of all votes cast.

The presidential election began around 11am in the morning in Mogadishu, with 22 candidates competing for Somali President. Former Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gas and politician Abdulkadir Osoble were the closest runner-ups, but both candidates resigned from going ahead to second round of voting.

President-elect Hassan Sheikh and former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed went straight to the third and final round of voting, where President-elect Hassan Sheikh received an overwhelming victory.

Hassan Sheikh becomes the first President of the first permanent government in Somalia since 1991. The UN-backed Roadmap peace process, whereby states like Puntland played a key role, has led to the end of the transitional governments in Somalia that first emerged in the year 2000.

Former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed conceded defeat and congratulated the President-elect and promised to work with him.

President-elect Hassan Sheikh expressed his appreciation to the Somali people, the Federal Parliament, and the fellow presidential candidates. He expressed his hope for Somalia to re-emerge from decades of conflict and statelessness, while emphasizing his willingness to work closely with the international community.

Somali political observers say President-elect Hassan Sheikh is a new politician and is known to have worked as an educator and was one of the founders of SIMAD Institute in Mogadishu.

Both the President-elect and the former President belong to the Abgal sub-clan of the Hawiye clan-family that is dominant in Mogadishu area.

Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole, leader of Darod-dominated Puntland regions of northern Somalia and a key player of the Roadmap process, spoke live on BBC Somali Service at 9:15pm to send his congratulations to President-elect Hassan Sheikh, the Somali people, the Federal Parliament, and the international community that has supported the Somali peace process.

On 1 August 2012, Somalia adopted the Provisional Federal Constitution effectively making the country the Federal Republic of Somalia.

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