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President reappoints interim prime minister

[Somalia] President- elect Abdullahi yusuf.
The president of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, (Liban Warsame)

The interim Somali president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, reappointed Ali Muhammad Gedi as prime minister on Monday, two days after parliament had deemed Gedi's initial appointment unconstitutional and passed a vote of no confidence in the government, an official said.

The transitional parliament, which sits in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, had said on Saturday that Yusuf had not sought its approval for Gedi's appointment and therefore his government was not properly constituted. It also said Gedi had ignored clan quotas when appointing ministers and that his cabinet of nearly 80 was too large.

"The president reappointed Gedi on Monday evening in the presence of representatives from the international community," Hussein Jabiri, communication director in the office of the prime minister, told IRIN.

One of the sponsors of the motion of no confidence, Ali Dasha, told IRIN that Gedi's new cabinet must be "viable, small in number and highly qualified".

Another supporter of the motion, Abdulrahman Aden Ibbi, said that article 49 of the Somali charter stipulated that the president submits his prime minister-designate to parliament for approval. The would-be prime minister was required to present himself before parliament to explain his programmes and how he intended to implement them.

"Gedi must present himself before parliament and prove that he is capable of implementing his programmes," Ibbi told IRIN.

He said that Gedi had not taken into account clan power-sharing arrangements agreed upon earlier and had on 1 December appointed an unwieldy cabinet. "The most important ministerial portfolios went to one clan while other clans got very low-profile portfolios," he said.

One minister and five deputy ministers resigned last week complaining about the large cabinet and its lack of clan balance.

Gedi, a 51-year-old former professor of veterinary science was initially appointed on 3 November. Commentators then said he was a good choice mainly because he had not been tainted by the factional bloodletting that ruined Somalia following the toppling in 1991 of the regime of Muhammad Siyad Barre.

He is a member of the Abgal sub-clan of the main Hawiye clan and was a prominent member of the political arm of the United Somali Congress, one of the armed groups that overthrew Barre.

Members of the transitional federal parliament elected Yusuf president on 10 October. His election marked the culmination of a two-year reconciliation conference sponsored by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, that brought together representatives from various clans and factions.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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