Somalia House debates no-trust vote against PM

 

MOGADISHU: Somalia’s parliament begun on Saturday debating a no-confidence motion against the prime minister who has fallen out with the president.

Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid has said he welcomed parliament’s intervention to settle the disagreement with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Saaid has not disclosed any details of the dispute but legislators say it is over the composition of a new cabinet.

After parliament’s speaker confirmed there was the required support among members to proceed, the debate — that could force the prime minister from office — was adjourned until Sunday.

It was not clear when a vote would be held, officials said.

The high-level rift could damage a fledgling government that the West says is the best in decades in a war-torn country that is battling Al Qaeda-linked insurgent group Al Shabaab.

Western nations and others in the region see Somalia’s reconstruction as vital to preventing the militant Shabaab group from regaining ground after being pushed out of major urban areas by an African peacekeeping force.

The areas the group controls are still seen as a launchpad for militants with more global ambitions and targets.

On Thursday Somalia’s government appointed a former governor of the central bank to his old post on a temporary basis in a bid to steady an institution rocked by rows over corruption.

Two governors have left in quick succession this year.

The first was accused by UN investigators of corruption, which he denied. The second quit and fled Somalia, saying she was under pressure to sign off on shady dealings.