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Somalian MPs elect new president

  • Members of parliament in Somalia elected political newcomer Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the country’s president on Monday.

    Supporters have hailed the result as a vote for change in the war-torn nation.

    The academic beat President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in a run-off poll by 190 to 79 votes.

    Mohamud, seen as a moderate, defeated the incumbent after two of the four candidates who made it to the second round of polling dropped out.

    He graduated from the Somali National University in 1981 and went on to obtain a master's degree in education from India's Bhopal University in 1988.

    He has worked for the UN children's agency, UNICEF and co-founded the Somali Institute of Management and Administration Development in the capital Mogadishu, which later became Simad University.

    In 2011, he founded the Peace and Development Party.

    Somalia has been without a functioning government since the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991.

    With the aid of African Union troops, the UN-backed interim government has been able to gain control of the capital.

    However, al-Shabab, an armed group that has joined al-Qaeda, still controls parts of central and southern Somalia with pirates and regional administrations also vying for power across swathes of the Horn of Africa nation.