News / Africa

Somali Prime Minister Urged to Name 'Competent' Government

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed addresses officials after his swearing in ceremony at the Presidential residence in Mogadishu, Somalia, 01 Nov 2010
Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed addresses officials after his swearing in ceremony at the Presidential residence in Mogadishu, Somalia, 01 Nov 2010

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  • Afyare Abdi Elmi, a professor of international affairs at Qatar University spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

A Somali analyst at the University of Qatar says Somalia’s new prime minister, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, should select “competent technocrats” who can fulfill the aspirations of ordinary Somalis in his new government.

Mohammed is scheduled to name members of his new government Friday after President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed installed him in his post earlier this month.

“The prime minister is expected, at least from the international community’s perspective and also from the Somali people’s perspective, to come up with a technocratic cabinet, a cabinet that has the competencies that are needed for the remaining period of time.”

Afyare Elmi, a political science professor, said previous governments that relied largely on political and ethnic affiliations failed to live up to general Somali expectations. He also denied that previous governments that failed had competent technocrats.

“Those Cabinets that were formed since 2000, most of the time, [were] members who were selected based on political considerations, not on their competence, and this was always a problem simply because, given the situation, they wanted the cabinet to reflect the people of different regions,” said Elmi.

“In every Cabinet that was formed, the number was way too high like the last one was 39. The previous one [under] Ali Mohammed Gedi was close to 90. So, we will see what he [the new prime minister] will come up with.”

Legislators approved Mohammed as the prime minister following a dispute between President Ahmed and parliament speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden over whether lawmakers should cast ballots openly.

Elmi said Somalis expect members of the new government to be competent.

Mohamed is an American citizen who has not lived in Somalia for more than two decades. He lived, for many years, in Buffalo, New York, where he taught at a local community college and held positions in local government.  In the 1980s, he worked for the Somali Foreign Ministry and served in the Somali Embassy in Washington, D.C.

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