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Published on Aug 31, 2009
Aden Abdulle Osman Daar ("Aaden Cabdulle Cismaan Daar [Aaden Cadde]") (1908 - June 8, 2007) was a Somali politician and the country's first President. He was born near the Ethiopian border in the town of Belet Weyne. When Somalia became independent on July 1, 1960, he was elected as the first President of Somalia. In the 1967 presidential election he was defeated by Abdirashid Ali Shermarke. His term as president ended on June 10, 1967. In 1951 the Regional Council of Mudug designated him for the Territorial Council on which he served uninterruptedly (up to February 1956) as the representative of the S.Y.L.
In 1953 he was appointed Vice-President of the Territorial Council. In 1954 he became the President of the Somali Youth League and remained office until 1956. Re-elected to the same position in May 1958, he occupied this post simultaneously with the post of the President of the Legislative Assembly until July 1, 1960.
In 1956, when the Territorial Council was replaced by Legislative Assembly, he was elected member of the National Assembly for Belet Weyne District at the general political elections, and in meantime the Legislative Assembly appointed him its President.
In the 1959 general political elections, he was again elected member of the National Assembly, which again appointed him President. He maintained this post when the Legislative Assembly was converted into the Constituent Assembly.
In his capacity as President of the Constituent Assembly, on July 1, 1960, he proclaimed the Independence of the Somali Republic and following the unification of the northern and southern territories - former British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. The National Assembly chose him as Provisional President of the Republic for period of 1 year, and in 1961 re-elected him to the same mandate for 6 years.
Aden Abdullah Osman devoted his interest to legal, social and economic studies. Besides Somali, he spoke Italian, English and Arabic. In the 1967 presidential elections he was beaten by Abdirashid Ali Shermarke. His term as president ended on June 10, 1967.
According to the Constitution of the Republic, the out-going President enjoyed life-membership of the Somali National Assembly. Osman Daar now acts as an elder statesman in attempts to establish a lasting peace in Somalia. He is currently the oldest living former head of state in the world.