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Somali Parliament Votes Out Prime Minister

  • VOA News

FILE - Somalia's Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed delivers his speech at the Parliament Building in Mogadishu, Dec. 21, 2013.

FILE - Somalia's Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed delivers his speech at the Parliament Building in Mogadishu, Dec. 21, 2013.

The Somali parliament has voted to oust Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, making him the second prime minister removed by lawmakers in less than a year.

Saturday's no-confidence vote was the result of tensions between the prime minister and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud over a cabinet reshuffle. Ahmed got only 80 votes in his favor, compared to 153 votes to throw him out.

President Mohamud welcomed the move. He told VOA the vote is a step forward for democracy in Somalia.

"I welcome the step taken by the parliament today," he said. "I congratulate those who voted yes and those who voted no, which signals the political maturity Somalia has reached to solve its internal differences."

President Mohamud appointed Ahmed to his post last year after his predecessor (Abdi Farah Shirdon) was ousted in a similar dispute over cabinet positions. The president now has 30 days to nominate a new prime minister, who will then assemble a new cabinet.

Analysts say Somali citizens have been growing increasingly frustrated with the government for not bringing more stability to the long-troubled country.

The new federal government was established in 2012, after militant group al-Shabab was ousted from Mogadishu and other major Somali cities.

The al-Qaida-linked-militants continue to carry out bomb and shooting attacks. The group has killed several lawmakers this year and launched two assaults on the presidential palace.

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