Somalia’s parliament has reelected former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud following marathon voting in Mogadishu on Sunday.
According to VOA, the voting took place in the heavily guarded Mogadishu airport with African Union forces securing the tent inside a hangar, where the secret balloting took place.
In a joint session of the two houses of the parliament, the Upper House and Lower House, 327 lawmakers cast ballots for 36 presidential candidates in three rounds of voting.
Outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and his immediate predecessor, Mohamud, competed in the final round of voting, needing a simple majority to win. It was a rematch of the 2017 election when Farmaajo beat Mohamud to become president.
“Out of 327 parliamentarians who voted the final round, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud got 214 (votes), while President Farmaajo got 110, three votes spoiled,” Speaker Adan Mohamed Nur said. “He is the legitimate president from this hour.”
He, however, congratulate Mohamud during a live broadcast on national television.
“Thanks to Allah for allowing us to complete our election tonight. I thank those who voted for me and those who voted against me,” Farmaajo said. “I want to welcome my brother, the new president. Congratulations.”
Meanwhile, Mohamud was immediately sworn in as the President.
In a brief speech, Mohamud thanked Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble for leading the election process.
Mohamud said he would not be looking to go against Farmaajo supporters. “There will be no revenge,” he said. “If we have differences, we will use the country’s laws to settle it.”