Lawmakers boot Somalia prime minister from office

AP News
Posted: Dec 02, 2013 10:12 AM

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Lawmakers in Somalia voted Monday to oust the country's prime minister and his Cabinet after 14 months in office.

Lawmakers voted 184-65 to oust Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon and his 10-member Cabinet, Parliament Speaker Sheik Osman Jawari said.

Shirdon will remain in office until President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud nominates a new prime minister, who will then have 30 days to appoint a new Cabinet, Jawari said.

The parliament vote came after disputes emerged between Shirdon, a former businessman who has been prime minister since October 2012, and Mohamud. Lawmakers said that Shirdon refused to put the president's picks into his Cabinet.

The United Nations representative to Somalia, Nicholas Kay, said the ouster of the prime minister by vote from the parliament showed that Somalia's institutions are "coming of age."

"The U.N. is here to support their development, and looks forward to working constructively with the new administration. Outgoing Prime Minister Shirdon had worked hard to promote growth and progress and played an important part in creating the New Deal Compact between international partners and Somalia," Kay said.

Somalia's government — which sits in place in large part because of the security provided by African Union troops — controls only small parts of the country and continues to struggle to provide security and battle corruption. The capital, Mogadishu, though, is much better off today than the years 2006-2011, when the militant group al-Shabab controlled much of the capital.