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Somali Cabinet Meets Over Vote to Oust PM

Somalia's newly appointed cabinet held an emergency session in Kenya's capital, following a parliamentary motion to fire the prime minister.

Prime Minister Mohammed Ali Gedi appealed to his Somali cabinet members to remain calm, while the legality of the motion to oust him is sorted out.

A majority of the 275-member Somalia parliament Saturday passed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Gedi, saying that he was in office illegally because he had not been approved by parliament according to procedures laid down in the country's interim constitution. The motion also said the new cabinet did not share power equally among the five clans.

Somalia President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed recently appointed Prime Minister Gedi, who announced a new Cabinet on December 1. The prime minister is responsible for the day-to-day running of the government.

Minister of Agriculture Mowlid Ma'an Mohamoud told VOA he did not support the no-confidence vote.

"What happened yesterday in the parliament was not a very good gesture, that a parliament just constituted by the Somalis behaved like that. And this will not build the nation," he said.

The minister said he considers the cabinet to be, in his words, constitutionally fair.

The no-confidence vote is not the first challenge the new Somali cabinet has faced. Last week, a minister of state in the office of the prime minister and several assistant ministers resigned, saying it was too large to govern efficiently.

The formation of the Somali government followed two-years of peace talks in Kenya to try to end more than a decade of civil war. The new government is expected to return to Somalia next month.