HARGEISA – Kulmiye leader, Musa Bihi Abdi, has been elected to serve as the next and fifth President of the Republic of Somaliland, Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) has announced.
After a week of waiting for the results, NEC Chairman, Abdikadir Iman, finally announced on Monday afternoon that Abdi won the vote with 305, 909 votes – 55% votes of the cast.
Waddani presidential candidate, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi Irro, placed second with 226, 092 votes (40.73%).
UCID presidential candidate, Faisal Ali Waraabe, placed third with 23, 141 votes (4.17%).
Abdi’s victory marks the first time in Somaliland history that a ruling party has won back-back democratic presidential elections.
Although the date has yet to be announced, the Presidential Inauguration is expected to take place on December 13th, – one month after the vote was held, as per Somaliland tradition.
Who is President-elect Musa Bihi Abdi?
Abdi is a Somaliland politician and former military officer. Musa Bihi Abdi graduated from Amoud secondary school in the 1960’s. After graduation he pursued his higher education and enrolled Djembe Air Force Academy in the former Soviet Union, where he studied aeronautics and later became a pilot for Somali Air Force.
After graduating from the Soviet Air Force Academy, Abdi travelled toWashington, and enrolled in a US military academy in Fort Lee, Virginia and earned his second Masters Degree. In 2010, Mr Bihi obtained another Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution from the faculty of Peace and Conflict Studies of the University of Hargeisa.
In the mid 1980’s, Abdi abandoned his post as the Military Attaché of the Embassy of Somalia in Washington and joined the revolutionary Somali National Movement (SNM) that successfully ousted the Siad Barre regime after a long armed struggle.
After the rebirth of Somaliland, Abdi played a significant role in the reconciliation processes of Somaliland clans. In 1993, Abdi was appointed as the Minister of Interior and National Security by the 2nd President of the Republic of Somaliland, Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal.
Abdi is widely known for playing an important role in Somaliland’s state-building and peace-building process, since the restoration of independence in 1991.
In 2014, Abdi was elected as Chairman of the Kulmiye party, during the party’s third central committee convention.
A year and a half later, in October 2015, Abdi was nominated as Kulmiye’s presidential candidate for the Somaliland Presidential Elections.