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Somalia presidential elections: is democracy emerging?

The vote was widely celebrated—but there remains much room for improvement

By Ahmed Soliman  

©Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images

On 8th February, widespread street celebrations took place in the embattled east African country of Somalia, following the election of its 9th president: Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, nicknamed “Farmajo.”

A popular former prime minister and dual Somali-US national, his victory has raised hopes that the country remains on track in its gradual emergence from a 30-year civil war—and protracted fight against the insurgency of Islamist militants al-Shabaab. Though serious flaws with Somalia’s political system remain, the election was the…

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