Blue skies over Somalia


The stage seemed set for a ceremonial rubber-stamping of the status quo. Some of the new parliamentarians, many of who came through a corrupt process supported by domestic and foreign elements, started to arrive late and, at times, act unprofessionally on the floor.

Key officials, including the speakers of both chambers of the Federal Parliament, were awkwardly seated under the stage where ballots were being cast for the most important election in Somalia’s history. And the event itself was being conducted in Halane district, a geographical space that is physically located in Mogadishu, but in reality is entirely a different world – it is a type of a “Green Zone” for UN agencies, diplomatic missions, and private security.

But, we now know that bad optics don’t always result in bad outcomes.

Unlike what the beneficiaries of the status quo were expecting, February 8 has turned out to be a day of triumph for a nation that has fallen into a state of hopelessness and a day that would permanently be engraved in Somalia’s history. Against all odds, and in line with the public sentiment, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo) was electedpresident of Somalia.

But what caused this public euphoria, and what does it mean in the grand scale of things?


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