Sunday May 15, 2022
Mogadishu (HOL) – In what has become a familiar scene on election night in Somalia’s capital, celebratory gunfire rang out across Mogadishu on Sunday night to commemorate the electoral victory of a President. After nearly ten hours of marathon voting, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud handily defeated incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in the third and final round of polling, receiving 214 out of a possible 328 votes.
Farmajo was able to secure 110 votes.
There were three spoilt ballots in the final round.
Sunday’s poll marked the first time in Somalia that a former president was reelected to lead the Horn of the Africa nation of 16 million.
The election will be memorable because of the frequent twists and turns. After the first round of voting, Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni led all candidates with 65 votes.
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was a distant third with 52 votes.
Only four candidates – Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, Hassan Ali Khayre, Said Abdullahi Deni and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud – out of the 37 presidential hopefuls advanced to the second round.
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud put some distance between himself and the candidates in the second round, scoring 27 more votes than his closest contender.
The election happened under the backdrop of heavy security at the Afisioni tent in Mogadishu’s international airport. ATMIS, the successor to the African Union Mission in Somalia, was charged with securing the venue.
A 33-hour police curfew from Saturday at 9:00 p.m. until Monday at 6:00 a.m. is technically in effect. However, it is unlikely to be enforced as thousands of Mogadishu residents throng to the streets.
Former President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo placed 2nd in all of the rounds.
It will be Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s second time serving as Somalia’s president.
On 10 September 2012, Mohamud defeated fellow presidential candidate and former president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed after two rounds of voting to become Somalia’s eighth president.