Somali parliament ousts prime minister in vote of no confidence

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta

Hassan Ali Khaire, Somalia’s Prime Minister has been stripped of his leadership role as the country’s parliament ousted him in a vote of no confidence amidst a power tussle between him and the nation’s President, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, gathered momentum.

Khaire, accused of failure to ensure stability and security in the country, has been at loggerheads with Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, the Somalia’s President over the country’s next election scheduled for February next year.

The president has favored postponement of the election until a further date, while Khaire held a contrary opinion as he insisted the election be held according to the schedule.

Accusing Khaire’s government, Speaker of the parliament, Mohamed Mursal Sheikh Abdirahman, said, “The government failed in its promise on the preparation of a clear plan for the one-man, one-vote election.”

While responding to the speaker’s accusations, one of Khaire’s allies, Mohamed Abukar Islow said it was a dark day on which the country witnessed the action of the parliament which he said was unconstitutional given the fact that the country’s constitution requires that elections be held every four years.

Upon removal of the prime minister, Mahdi Mohamed Guled, Deputy Prime Minister, was made the acting Prime Minister, which according to the president was to ensure continuity in the government.

President Mohamed has promised that the country would hold a satisfactory election when time comes.

This has however raised doubt with the leading opposition party, the Forum of National Parties, as they believed the president’s move was a ploy to extend his term in office.

“The president is breeding political chaos that will be difficult to manage…. We warn against any attempt aimed at term extension,” said the group.

An independent Horn of Africa analyst, Rashid Abdi while commenting on Khaire’s remmoval, said the prime minister’s ambition to one day become a president plunged him in the scuffle with the president; thus his removal was inevitable.
Giving his comment Abdi said,

“What was surprising was the swiftness with which it was done. There was no debate or negotiations,”

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