Somali lawmakers try to force out PM with no-confidence vote

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 07, 2014 9:37 AM

By Abdi Sheikh

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A lawmaker said on Friday he hoped Somalia's prime minister would be forced out of office by a no-confidence motion which accuses him of failing to respect the constitution.

The motion was submitted to the speaker of parliament on Thursday with the signatures of 140 lawmakers out of a total of 275 and is scheduled for debate and a possible vote on Nov. 15.

Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, an economist, openly fell out with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud last month over the composition of a new cabinet.

"His cabinet ministers split into two with one group supporting the prime minister," Dahir Amin Jesow, a member of parliament, told Reuters.

He accused Ahmed of failing to co-operate with other government institutions and showing "zero respect for the constitution".

"We believe and hope he will leave office," Jesow said.

The tensions between Ahmed and Mohamud broke out into the open last month when the prime minister re-shuffled the cabinet and the president issued a statement saying Ahmed had not consulted him on the changes and declared them null and void.

The filing of the no-confidence motion is in defiance of warnings by donors like the United Nations that the dispute could undermine the country's recovery from two decades of civil war and lawlessness.

The fragile government is being backed by international aid aimed at preventing it from becoming a haven for al Qaeda-style militants.

Ahmed's predecessor, former prime minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, was ousted by lawmakers last year after he also fell out with Mohamud over the make-up of the cabinet.

(Writing by Duncan Miriri; editing by Andrew Roche)