Somalia's Puntland appoints new president

Legislators pick Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, a former Somali prime minister, to lead the semi-autonomous region.

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    Abdiweli unseated incumbent President Farole in a tightly contest run-off poll [EPA]
    Abdiweli unseated incumbent President Farole in a tightly contest run-off poll [EPA]

    Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland has chosen Abdiweli Mohamed Ali as president in a vote held in Garowe the regions capital, amid tight security.

    Abdiweli unseated the incumbent President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole in a tightly contest run-off poll. Ali is a former prime minister of Somalia under Sheikh Sharif. Ali garnered 33 votes as opposed to Farole's 32.

    No candidates secured the required two-thirds majority in the first  and second round of voting. Farole won the first two rounds of voting with comfortable margins.

    Eight candidates were eliminated in the first round voting. The whole voting processes was broadcast live on local TVs and radio stations.

    Puntland declared itself to be semi-autonomous from Somalia in 1998 as fighting raged through most of the country. Since then the region of about 2.5 million people has had four presidents, all selected by MPs who were in turn selected by clan elders.

    Polls were originally set for July last year but were postponed after government said the risk of violence was too great for voting to be held.

    Farole accepted the results and thanked "those who worked with him".

    Follow Hamza Mohamed on Twitter: @Hamza_Africa

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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