Parliament Approves Somalia’s New PM After Repeated Delays

Abdi Hajji Hussein – AHN News Correspondent

Mogadishu, Somalia (AHN) – The Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia on Sunday approved the appointment of {remier Mohamed “Farmajo” Abdullahi Mohammed after meeting in Mogadishu.

The parliament assembly, which opened with the presence of more than 391 Somali legislators out of 550, was presided over by Parliamentary Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adam. Some 297 lawmakers gave a vote of confidence to the incoming prime minister, while 92 others refused. The meeting, which lasted 3 hours, was concluded without disruption.

Somali government forces, backed by African Union peacekeepers, could be seen in the streets of Mogadishu during the meeting. Security forces were on high alert for the gathering. The approved premier and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed had not attended the assembly.

Within 30 days, Mohammed “Farmajo” should form effective functioning government with the ability to tackle current problems in Somalia, according to Somalia National Charter. Vote of confidence to Somalia’s new prime minister comes after two weeks of repeated postponements of parliament meetings to approve him because of wrangle which overshadowed top the transitional federal government leaders.

Augustine Mahiga, the United Nations’ Special Envoy for Somalia, on Wednesday landed at Mogadishu International Airport, where he met top leaders of Somalia’s transitional federal government (TFG) in a bid to end a dispute between Sharif Sheikh Ahmed the Somali president and Sharif Hassan, the speaker of Parliament.

Accompanied by members of the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Mahiga held closed-door meetings with Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Somalia’s beleaguered president, and Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adam following a political scuffle between the men over how the parliament should approve the next prime minister.

However, Somalia’s Somali-American new prime minister, will inherit beleaguered, corrupt and failed government institutions. Al Qaeda inspired group, Al shabaab, who struggles to topple the weak UN backed government led by former rebel, controls large swathes in southern and central Somalia including many parts of the capital city Mogadishu while TFG dominates only a few blocks in the seaside capital.

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