Somalia: World superpowers congratulate Galmadug new president
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Despite the controversy surrounding Galmadug's Sunday presidential polls, the victory of Ahmed Abdi has been overwhelmingly acknowledged, paving way for the creation of new administration.
Abdi, a former state minister for public works, becomes the third president of the fragile region, which has witnessed endless political intrigues since 2017.
On Sunday, 77 of the 89 lawmakers voted to pick the new president, following the retirement of Ahmed Dualle, the region's outgoing president.
Ironically, Dualle has reportedly formed a parallel government, arguing that "my term is not yet over, we should be having polls in 2021".
The US acknowledges Abdi's victory
But the US and China have given Sunday's outcome a nod, something that would be difficult to reverse by the critics.
Donald Yamamoto, the US Ambassador to Somalia, had earlier warned against "violence and intimidation" when the lawmakers gathered to pick a new leader.
"It is the responsibility of everyone to avoid the threat and or use of violence," US said, adding: "To that end, we congratulate the newly elected President of Galmudug State, Ahmed Abdi."
A state of confusion had marred the electoral process in the impoverished state of Somalia, with critics accusing FGS of external influence.
But while noting the importance of the state, the US said that "a reenergized process of dialogue and compromise will be necessary on all sides."
China calls for Dialogue in Dhusamareb
China, another world superpower, also acknowledged Abdi's victory, which comes just a few months before Somalia goes to polls.
"Without any intention of interfering with the internal affairs of brotherly Somalia, we would like to congratulate H.E. Ahmed Abdi Kariye on his election as President of Galmudu," China said.
The Communist state was, however, quick to call for dialogue, arguing that it's important for the purpose of "unity and stability" of Galmadug.
China said: "We commend his commitment to promoting dialogue and reconciliation for a unified and stable Galmudug."
Although the process was backed by the federal government, most member states, who have accused FGS of manipulation, are yet to issue statements.
AU voices her concerns
But the African Union, which is entrusted with peacekeeping processes in Somalia, has acknowledged the polls amid escalating divisions.
Through AMISOM, the AU said, "we aware that lots need to be done and we urge Ahmed Abdi to continue with the spirit of reconciliation."
During the voting process, dozens of AMISOM troops were deployed to Dhusamareb to increase surveillance and coordinate the election.
Mohamed Farmajo, the Somalia President, termed the process "free and fair" adding that "it's time to work for the people".
Mahdi Guleid, Somalia's Deputy Prime Minister, added: "This is a great political process for Somalia and I wish you success during your mandate as Galmudug State leaders."
How the exercise concluded
Of the 89 lawmakers, only 77 participated in the process, which was boycotted by key contestants and opposition leaders.
According to the results announced by the regional electoral body, Qoorqoor garnered 66 votes out of 77 votes.
His closest challenger Abdirahman Ahmed Samatar garnered nine votes, Abdirahman Aden Sabriye and Ahmed Shire Falagle scored one each.
Top candidates led by Abdirahman Odowa, Kamal Gutale, Abdullahi Weheliye, and Abdi Dheere quit the race citing "Villa Somalia interference".
Also, the Sufi group ASWJ, which had been allocated 20 seats in the regional assembly, withdrew from the race, accusing Farmajo of sponsoring Mr. Abdi.
While Abdi may now form a new government, the electioneering process may be far from ending given that opposition leaders were using Galmadug as a pilot study for December polls.