Somali president appoints new acting prime minister

Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo speaks after winning the vote in Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb. 8, 2017. Former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was elected new president of Somalia in a tightly contested polls held in Mogadishu on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Pan Siwei)

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Saturday appointed deputy prime minister Mahdi Mohamed Guled to act as the country’s prime minister following the impeachment of Hassan Ali Khaire by Parliament.

In a presidential decree, President Mohamed said Guled will continue to manage activities of the cabinet on an interim basis until a replacement is made.

“The Presidential Decree is based on the principle of state-building and development in our country until the President appoints a Prime Minister who will build a capable Government that will further accelerate the realization of the aspirations of the Somali people,” Mohamed said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

The president stressed that the country will hold timely and credible elections, in accordance with the Constitution and the electoral law.

Guled’s appointment comes a few hours after the previous prime minister Khaire lost a vote of no-confidence in Parliament following a possible disagreement with Mohamed over the forthcoming elections.

On Saturday, Somalia’s Parliament voted 170-8 to remove Khaire from office in a no-confidence vote which enjoyed the backing of lawmakers from both the government and opposition sides.

Already, the opposition parties have condemned the impeachment of Khaire, saying it will derail the recent agreement on the electoral process reached in Dhusamareb by the country’s federal and regional state leaders.

“The vote of no confidence against the prime minister was not on the House agenda, there was no motion filed detailing the reason for the vote, and there were no signatures of 50 MPs. There was no debate and no vote,” they said in a joint statement.

Mohamed and Khaire joined five regional presidents for a four-day meeting this week in Dhusamareb town, the capital of Galmudug State where they agreed to hold credible and timely elections and also resolved to appoint a joint technical committee to provide guidance on the process and model of the election.

The Horn of African nation was due to hold parliamentary elections at the end of 2020 while presidential polls are scheduled to take place in early 2021.

Khaire had warned that any extension to the government’s mandate will plunge the country into political, security and constitutional crisis and assured the public the country will go to the polls as planned. Enditem

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