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Somali Parliament Seeks Prime Minister’s Removal

  • Peter Clottey

Somalia's embattled Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke

Somalia's embattled Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke

A leading member of Somalia’s parliament said a majority of legislators and ordinary Somalis have lost confidence in Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke and are demanding he steps down.

Abdullahi Ismail, who is also Somali’s former minister for foreign affairs said Prime Minister Sharmarke has for the past two years failed to implement any policy that will benefit Somalis despite enjoying local and international support.

“A government is responsible to fulfill the aspirations of the people and also to respect and implement the programs of action that it has been entrusted with. So, far for two years now, this government is showing no progress at all. It is almost incapable (of implementing) programs to serve the nation and to come with new ideas, to interact with parliament,” he said.

Legislator Ismail said the Prime Minister has so far ignored parliament and often denied the role of the legislature in the country’s governance.

“Since parliament is the real platform, the main one for the whole country, it has to step in and ask the Prime Minister to step aside.”

But, supporters of Mr. Sharmarke rejected the accusation, saying it would be almost impossible for any administration to perform creditably in the face of almost daily attacks by hard-line Islamic insurgents, including al-Shabab.

Relations between Prime Minister Sharmarke and President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed have been strained after the beleaguered leader reinstated the Prime Minister and his government following a parliamentary vote of no confidence in them.

Lawmakers have called on the Prime Minister to appear before them to undergo a vote of no confidence, but Mr. Sharmarke has so far rejected their demand.

Legislator Ismail said the Prime Minister should step aside for President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed to name an effective replacement.

“It is clear that the will of the majority and wish of the totality of the parliament is to see this Prime Minister stepping aside and allowing the president to appoint a new one so that we can have an effective government,” he said.

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