Ahmed Sworn In As New Somalian President
Months after his Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia signed a peace deal, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was sworn in as president, Al Jazeera reports.
Ahmed defeated Maslah Mohamed Siad by a vote of 293 to 126. At his swearing in ceremony in Djibouti, Ahmed promised to form a broad government and also to reach out to former government leaders like the former armed wing of the Islamic Courts movement, al-Shabab.
"Very soon, I will form a government which represents the people of Somalia," Ahmed said.
The election of Ahmed is seen as a stark contrast from the previous president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, who was known for his warlike manner. Ahmed is said to be more scholarly and temporate.
Somalis numbering in the thousands could be seen singing and whistling as they celebrated their new president, The New York Times reported.
While the election of Ahmed appears optomistic, Somalis have reason to be skeptical, as 13 previous attempts at forming an effective transitional government have all failed, The New York Times said.