Somaliland hailed as it swears in new president

SOMALIA – There was excitement and optimism on social media as citizens of Somalia relished the peaceful transition of power and wished the new president a fruitful five year term. Muse Bihi Abdi, a retired pilot was declared winner of the tightly contested November 13 polls, having polled 55% of the votes cast.

At the inauguration, the president wasted no time in addressing his dissatisfied opponents. “I am ready and working on solving all the election-related disputes and to cool down all the brothers who have grievances,” the president said during the inauguration ceremony, which was broadcast live by the privately-owned Horn Cable TV.

 “If you have grievances I urge you to come to the table” he added. In addition to reaching out to the electorate that didn’t vote for him, President Abdi will have to deal with the high unemployment rates among the youth as well as continue the struggle to get international recognition for Somaliland.

26 years of diplomatic isolation has made it difficult for the country to have access to loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Somaliland has held successful presidential elections in 2003 and 2010 including parliamentary elections in 2005. This year’s election is touted to be the first incident-free polls to be held in the Horn of Africa in many years.

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