President of Somalia

President of the
Federal Republic of Somalia
Madaxaweynaha Jamhuuriyadda Federaalka Soomaaliyeed
Seal of the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia.svg
Presidential Seal
Flag of Somalia.svg
Flag of Somalia
Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (2020-07-22) (cropped).jpg
Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed

since 16 February 2021
StyleHis Excellency
ResidenceVilla Somalia
Term lengthFour years,
renewable once
PrecursorColonial governor of Italian Somaliland
Formation1 July 1960
First holderAden Abdullah Osman Daar
Salary$120,000 annually[1]

The president of Somalia (Somali: Madaxaweynaha Soomaaliya) is the head of state of Somalia. The president is also commander-in-chief of the Somali Armed Forces. The president represents the Federal Republic of Somalia, and the unity of the Somali nation, as well as ensuring the implementation of the Constitution of Somalia and the organised and harmonious functioning of the organs of state.[2] The office of President of Somalia was established with the proclamation of the Republic of Somalia on 1 July 1960. The first president of Somalia was Aden Abdullah Osman Daar.[3] Since his mandate expired on 16 February 2021 Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ has been acting president.


The first president of Somalia was Aden Abdullah Osman Daar, one of the leaders of the Somali Youth League (SYL), who took office on 1 July 1960, the day on which Somalia was declared a republic. Since then the office has been held by seven further people: Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, Mohamed Siad Barre, Ali Mahdi, Abdiqasim Salad, Abdullahi Yusuf, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. In addition, Sheikh Mukhtar acted as president between Shemarke's assassination and the coup d'état, and Aden Madoobe acted as president after Yusuf's resignation in the 2008.

Sharif Sheikh Ahmed took office on 31 January 2009, after being elected by the presidential election held in January 2009. Ahmed's term as President of Somalia officially ended In August 2012, concurrent with the conclusion of the transitional federal government's mandate and the start of the federal government of Somalia. He was succeeded in office by General Muse Hassan, who had been serving in an interim capacity.[4]

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office on 16 September 2012, after being elected by the presidential election held on 10 September 2012.[5]

Qualifications and election

In order to become the president of Somalia, the candidate must:[2]

(a) Be a Somali citizen and a Muslim; (b) Be not less than forty years of age; (c) Have relevant knowledge or experience for the role; (d) Be sound of mind; and (e) Not have been convicted by a court of a major crime.

The election of the president must begin at least 30 days before the term of office of the incumbent president expires or 10 days after the presidency falls vacant, and must be completed within 30 days of the beginning of the election. Candidates must be declared to the bureau of the parliament within the first 10 days of this period, and elections must be completed within the remaining 20 days.

Formerly, the president was elected by the members of the Somali Parliament, requirements and who are eligible to become members of Parliament.

Term of office

The president is selected for a term of office of four years, with no term limits specified in the constitution.[citation needed] The term of office of the incumbent president continues until the president-elect takes office.[citation needed] On assuming office, the president takes the following oath before the parliament[citation needed];

I swear in the name of Allah that I will perform my duties honestly and in the best interest of the Nation, People, and Religion, and that I will abide by the Constitution and the other Laws of the Country.

Duties and responsibilities

An outline of the duties are as follow:[2]

  • Appoint the prime minister,
  • Serve as Commander-in-Chief of the Somali Armed Forces;
  • Declare a state of emergency and war in accordance with the law,
  • Appoint and dismiss the commanders of the forces at the federal government level on the recommendation by the Council of Ministers;
  • Dismiss ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers on the recommendation of the prime minister;
  • Sign draft laws passed by the federal Parliament in order to bring them into law;
  • Open the House of the People of the Federal Parliament;
  • Hold an annual session with the House of the People of the Federal Parliament;
  • Appoint the chairman of the Constitutional Court, the High Court, and other judges at the federal government level in accordance with the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission;
  • Appoint senior federal government officials and the heads of the federal government institutions on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers;
  • Appoint ambassadors and high commissions on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers;
  • Receive foreign diplomats and consuls;
  • Confer state honours on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers;
  • Dissolve the House of the People of the Federal Parliament when its term expires, thereby prompting new elections;
  • Pardon offenders and commute sentences on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission; and
  • Sign international treaties proposed by the Council of Ministers and approved by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.

List of presidents of Somalia

Living former presidents

As of March 2021, there are three living former presidents of Somalia, as seen below.

The most recent president to die was Ali Mahdi Muhammad (served 1991–1997), on 10 March 2021, at the age of 82.

Latest election

See also


  1. ^ "Salaries for sitting African presidents". Daily Monitor.
  2. ^ a b c *Provisional Constitution (adopted August 1, 2012)
  3. ^ The Illustrated Library of The World and Its Peoples: Africa, North and East, Greystone Press: 1967, p. 338
  4. ^ "Office of the Somali Parliament". Office of the Somali Parliament. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Somalia Federal Parliament elects Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as President". Garowe Online. 10 September 2012. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.

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