Statement from SRSG Mahiga on the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as President of Somalia.
Today the Somali people have taken a great step forward on the path to peace and prosperity. Today, Somalia’s Parliamentarians—in a calm, dignified and contemplative manner—ended the transitional period decisively and selected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to serve as the next President of Somalia. The process was representative and Somali owned. Through two rounds of balloting and in a transparent manner in full view of the world, the process was peaceful, orderly and fundamentally democratic. Somalia has proved the doubters wrong and sent a powerful message of progress to all of Africa and indeed to the entire world.
The Path that has led us here has been long and arduous. A little more than a year ago the peace process was almost at a standstill. Institutional paralysis threatened to split the Transitional Federal Government in half. Since those difficult days the progress has been nothing less than breathtaking. And tonight, the most significant democratic exercise for Somalia in four decades marks the culmination of that process as a New Somali Parliament, chosen by a National Constituent Assembly itself selected by a broad cross section of transitional elders elected Somalia’s new President to a four year term. The transition is over—Somalia must now focus on stabilization, reconciliation and building sustainable and accountable institutions of governance capable of providing services to its people.
We salute all candidates regardless of the outcome. I call on the winners to be magnanimous in victory, the losers to be gracious in defeat and for all to lead Somalia forward to a brighter day. All Somalis must now reconcile for the good of the nation at this remarkable moment in the country’s history.
There is still much to do, but all Somalis can be proud of this process. I offer my warmest congratulations. This is moment of hope and optimism, a new era for Somalia has begun.
MOGADISHU, Somalia, September 11, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/
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