Hirshabelle’s Ali Gudlawe Chosen as Region’s New President

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Hirshabelle MPs have elected Ali Abdullahi Gudlawe as the region’s new President in a vote held at a heavily guarded complex in the town of Jowhar, about 90km north of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

The former regional Vice President beat his challenger who only received 13 votes while Mr Gudlawe won by 86 of votes casted by MPs at the venue in a no surprise result.

Traffic had been banned with tight security imposed over the town hours before the election to prevent attacks by Islamists.

Somali Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Khadija Mohamed Diriye had congratulated the federal government favored candidate Mr Gudlawe in advance on win hours before the election.

Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud congratulated the new regional president on his victory.

MPs have also elected Yusuf Ahmed Hagar (Dabaged) as region’s new Vice President. The former warlord served as the governor of Hiran region after the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia and had been deposed by Islamic Courts Union in late 2006.

Over the past few weeks, there were reports that Hirshabelle’s regional electoral commission was made up of intelligence agents and state employees, some of whom working at the office of the national Intelligence Chief Fahad Yasin.

In his victory speech, Gudlawe said there was no federal government intervention in the electoral process that resulted in his election and that the effort was led by intellectuals who showed desire to form new regional government.

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