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Former Somali leader wins presidency again

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, former Somali President and candidate for the 2022 presidential elections, is seen during the first round of voting in Mogadishu, Somalia. May 15, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Former Somali leader Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has won the presidency again on Sunday in a vote by parliamentarians behind blast walls in an airport hangar as a popular election remains impossible in the conflict-wracked nation.

Mohamud, 66, defeated incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in a runoff after three rounds of voting throughout the day, Reuters reports.

Supporters greeted the result by cheering and firing guns into the air around the capital Mogadishu.

Mohamud faces a daunting task in the Horn of Africa nation of 15 million people which is suffering drought, hunger and seemingly never-ending conflict.

Earlier, blasts from mortar shells rang out near Mogadishu airport where the parliamentarians were meeting, residents said.

There was no claim of responsibility and the explosions did not disrupt the vote, but Somalis are used to attacks on state institutions from al Shabaab militants.

The United Nations-backed vote was delayed by more than a year due to squabbling in government, but had to be held this month to ensure a $400 million International Monetary Fund programme.

Writing by Muzha Kucha