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April 30, 2017

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Islamists denounce Somali vote as an 'enemy project'

MOGADISHU--Somalia's Islamists on Tuesday dismissed as illegitimate the vote which saw outsider Hassan Sheikh Mohamud elected president.

"The process in which Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was chosen was run by the enemies of Somalia," Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, spokesman of the al-Qaida-linked Shebab, told AFP.

"Nothing personal, but the whole process is like an enemy project," he said.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a 56-year-old university lecturer with ties to the Somali branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Islah ("Reform" in Arabic), unexpectedly defeated incumbent Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in a run-off on Monday.

The president was elected by newly-designated lawmakers as part of a UN-backed process to end a transitional period and strengthen institutions in a nation which has not had an effective central government in two decades.

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