Last week Somalia held semi-democratic presidential elections. Given that the government still does not control most of the country, this election may look a bit different from elections in other countries. Despite years of international support, the expectations for this election were incredibly low, the UN called it both a milestone and incredibly corrupt. So corrupt, in fact, that Al-Shabaab, the insurgency that does in fact control most of the country, didn’t even try to interfere. The structure of the election is a bit strange as well, with the voters being a collection of tribal leaders rather than a direct popular vote.
Even with all the corruption and security worries, however, a president was elected: Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as Farmajo (translates as cheese). The New York Times described his election as “The least corrupt and most-well-liked candidate won Somalia’s most corrupt and least democratic election. Go figure.”
We shall see what happens next!