Somalia: Defeated in his own game, Farmajo concedes defeat


MOGADISHU, Somalia - After spending over five years stifling democratic processes, engineering mutilation of constitutional institutions, misusing security forces and tampering with preparations for elections, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is better known as Farmajo conceded defeat after an epic presidential race.

Marred with delays, suspicions and internal wrangles, Somalia's lengthy elections culminated in the election of the president just early morning on Monday, with legislators needing three rounds to settle on the person to steer the agenda of the country for the next four years.

And Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who served as 8th president between 2017-17 before losing to Farmajo, hounded his fierce rival having scooped 214 votes with the incumbent managing 110 votes in the final round. Legislators spend several hours in the chambers while making the historical decision.

Throughout the night, the country seemed to be in a celebratory mood as residents seized opportunities in the streets to usher in the new president. The margin itself and the mood whether on social media or just across the country, manifested a nation that had lost hope under the outgoing administration.

As the final results came out and with fears that Farmajo could refuse to hand over power, a moment of hope was reinvented in the very room counting was done, with Farmajo immediately embracing his predecessor now cum successor, becoming the first person to be re-elected in Somalia, intervals notwithstanding.

"I congratulate the president-elect, my brother, Hassan Mohamud on his election as our nation's 10th president," Farmajo said in his concession speech, characterized with firmness and appreciation by hundreds who were in the hall.

"I urge all my fellow citizens to support and pray for his success. I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who contributed to smooth and peaceful elections," he added, a clear indication that he had given up.

When that election went to the third round, a determined Farmajo even took to social media to persuade legislators to elect him. Throughout the electioneering period, he has been accused of influencing voting, especially in the Lower House, only to lose in a critical moment.

For instance, he was accused of using security forces to antagonize opposition bigwigs including Hassan Sheikh Mohamud besides silencing critics through the dreaded National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA] agents.

Already, dozens of leaders around the world have congratulated Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for his victory, which gives Somalia fresh hope for survival after five disastrous years, mostly spent on political squabbles rather than meaningful development and fight against Al-Shabaab.


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