By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- At a highly guarded compound at the airport in Mogadishu , Somalia legislators elected Mohamed Abdillahi Farmajo as president.
Amid high security and a city wide lockdown, the legislators whittled down then candidates from the 21 in the first round to four in the second.
Incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud held a slight lead over former prime minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, 88 votes to 72, after the first round. Former president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was third with 49, and Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke was fourth with 37
The win for Farmajo a former prime minister was immediately acknowledged by the incumbent Hassan Sheikh through a congratulatory message at the venue.
Now that he is president of the wartorn country , Farmajo has to contend with Al-shabaab militants who are not only battling the army in a brutal war but control large swaths of Rural Somalia from where they undertake regular attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere with impunity.
Similarly president Farmajo, who is from the small Marehan clan in the south is also faced with the daunting task of reuniting his country, currently divided into numerous regional administrative regions.
But the main challenge to the incoming president Farmajo administration is the issue of Somaliland, a former British protectorate to the north which in 1991 withdrew from a 1960 voluntary later turned fateful with Somalia.