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Confirmation Hearing for New Somali Prime Minister Wednesday

  • Peter Clottey

Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed (l) with new Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (r)

Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed (l) with new Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (r)

A Somali legislator told VOA newly-appointed Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed will appear before parliament Wednesday in a scheduled confirmation hearing after he was appointed last week by President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed.

Abdullahi Sheik said the speaker of parliament has invited all legislators to participate in Wednesday’s confirmation hearing.

“We have received an official notification from the house of parliament, from the speaker’s office, calling us for a meeting. And, the aim is actually to introduce the prime minister to parliament by the president and seek the confirmation of parliament so that he can form a government.”

Somalia's President, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, on 14th October appointed Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed just weeks after the previous prime minster, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmake, resigned after a long-running political feud with the president.

Hard-line Somali insurgents, al-Shabab

Hard-line Somali insurgents, al-Shabab

Shortly after his appointment, Mohamed called his appointment a great opportunity to participate in building the nation.

Sheik said Mohamed will be confirmed because of what he said is the agreement among parliamentarians following a meeting Tuesday with President Ahmed.

“There is a general consensus indicating that the prime minister will be supported by the overwhelming majority of the house and that he will be given the endorsement of the parliament to continue forming his cabinet.”

The 48-year-old Mohamed is a former employee of Somalia's Foreign Ministry and served as an embassy diplomat in Washington. Until his appointment, Mohamed lived and worked in the eastern U.S. state of New York.

Parliament must now approve the appointment. Somalia has not had a functioning central government since 1991.

The U.N.-backed government is struggling to survive in the face of a fierce insurgency from Islamist militant groups, who control most of the capital, Mogadishu, and southern Somalia.

Sheik said there is need for the prime minister to demonstrate a commitment toward resolving the country’s political and security challenges.

“He has committed himself to the continuation of the process of reconciliation, particularly engaging armed opposition (who are) challenging the security of the country, and that is a good statement and a good start. And, we hope that there would be a way out of the stand-off between the government and the opposition.”