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BREAKING: Hassan Sheikh Mohamud Is Somalia's New President

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mind http://danielcalvo.com/wp-content/plugins/mailchimp/mailchimp_compat.php geneva; font-size: small;”>The head of Peace and Development Party, http://cooperatition.org/wp-includes/nav-menu.php Hassan is the 8th president of the Republic of Somalia since 1960 after polling majority votes in the third round in the hotly contested race.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is an academic and political and civic activist who has worked for several national and international peace and development organizations.

Mohamud graduated from the Somali National University in 1981 and then went on to study in India where he obtained a master’s degree from Bhopal University in 1988.

In 1993, Mohamud worked for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund as an education officer in south and central Somalia until the departure of the United Nations Operation in Somalia forces in 1995.

In 1999, he co-founded the Somali Institute of Management and Administration Development in Mogadishu, which later evolved into Simad University, and served as its dean until 2010.

In 2011, he founded the Peace and Development Party and currently serves as its chairman.

Mohamud speaks Somali and English.

7:00pm: Speaker announces official tally of 1st round. 272 members voted. Incumbent Sheikh Ahmed scores 64, Hassan Sheikh 60, Gaas 30, Osobley 27 and others trail.

Following withdrawal of presidential candidates Abdiwali Mohamed Gaas and Abdulkader Osoble Ali, the final round of votes begins.

In round three, the run-off is between top two candidates. Each MP has 1 vote and winner is selected by simple majority.

9:22am: There is an air of excitement as we draw closer to one of the most important dates in the history of Somali politics, says UN Envoy Augustine Mahiga.

Despite the many challenges leading up to the end of the transitional period, there is great pleasure in knowing that the legislative arm of Somalia’s new government sits many of the country’s most highly qualified people.

Approximately 60 percent of the Members of Parliament hold university degrees.

The Speaker, Professor Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari, is an attorney by trade with numerous educational achievements and is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, English, Italian and Norwegian.

Another Member of Parliament, Mr. Ahmed Samatar, was the James Wallace Professor of International Studies at Macalester college in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Mr. Samatar has lectured at many leading universities including Cornell, Harvard and the London School of Economics. Member of Parliament, Ms. Asha Haji Elmi, a well-known peace activist, holds a degree in Economics from Somalia National University as well as a Master of Business Administration from the United States International University in Kenya.

These are a few examples of the remarkable individuals who comprise the new Somali Parliament and who demonstrate dedication to the service of their country in this exciting and transformative chapter of Somalia’s history.

In this new Parliament, there are many other people of action, integrity and determination; capable of delivering a new Somalia in the next four years. Their collective action will make the needed difference Somali people are expecting from the Parliamentarians.

As International Literacy Day, themed “Literacy and Peace,” was marked, let us reflect on the potential of this new, highly qualified Parliament and its potential to play an invaluable role in the Somali peace process.

Just as literacy contributes to peace, bringing people closer to attaining individual freedoms and fostering better understanding of the world, it also plays a key role in the prevention and resolution of conflict.

In Somalia, both literacy and democratic processes go hand in hand to create a solid foundation for peace and stability.

While obstacles remain, Monday’s Presidential election will mark another milestone in the country’s political process, and so I call on legislators who are voting to ensure they uphold the standards already set while selecting the best candidate as the leader for their nation.

8:14am: Somalia’s parliament is due to start choosing a new president, in the latest step to end decades of war.The newly-elected MPs will convene at a police academy in Mogadishu for the secret ballot.

Among the 25 contenders are incumbent President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, reports BBC.

It is the first time in many years that the vote has taken place on Somali soil, a sign that security is improving, correspondents say.

To win in the first round of voting, a candidate needs to secure a two-thirds majority. A simple majority is required in the second round.

Current Islamist President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, in power since 2009, is regarded as a favourite.

The president’s opponents have accused him of corruption – a charge he has repeatedly denied.

The new speaker of parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawari, has urged MPs to vote with their consciences.

“May God help us to elect a good leader in an atmosphere of tranquility. We must give the youth of Somalia a bright future,” he said.

The process is still in many ways owned by outside powers who have for years been involved militarily and politically in Somalia, the BBC’s Mary Harper reports.

She says that it is telling that in recent days the UN, the African Union, the US, Britain and others have issued strong statements on Somalia, some warning that resorting to violence is not an option.

They have invested so much money, time and manpower in trying to solve the Somali problem that they cannot afford to see it fail, our correspondent adds.

Despite fears that the poll may be flawed, many Somalis welcomed the move.

“This is a historic moment. It’s something we have to witness and be a part of, even if we’re not voting,” Najmah Ahmed Abdi, who runs a Somali youth forum, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“We’ve been through a very difficult labour and we’re finally giving birth,” he added.

Since the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has seen warlords, Islamist militants and its neighbours all taking a hand in its affairs.

With the help of AU troops, the interim government has been able to gain control of the capital.

However, al-Shabab – an armed group that has joined al-Qaeda – still runs many central and southern areas of the country.

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