Somalia's PM resigns in line with deal

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 19, 2011 8:34 AM
Somalia's PM resigns in line with deal

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somalia's prime minister said he was resigning Sunday, complying with a deal struck between the president and parliamentary speaker to oust him while extending the troubled administration's term.

"Considering the interest of the Somali people and the current situation in Somalia, I have decided to leave my office," Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed told reporters in the capital Mogadishu.

Mohamed, a U.S.-educated former diplomat with a reputation for honesty who returned last year to head a government riven by internal fighting and corruption, said he would not be leaving Mogadishu and expected to assist the new government.

Somalia's latest administration had been due to dissolve in August and President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a former Islamist rebel leader, and speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, who covets the top job, were at loggerheads over what should happen then.

They agreed in Uganda on June 9 that they would extend the mandates of both the president and parliament by a year. Officials at the negotiations told Reuters at the time the speaker had demanded the premier's resignation in return for his signature.

The call for Mohamed's exit sparked several days of protests across Somalia by supporters of Mohamed.

"I would like to thank my cabinet who have done a lot to help improve security and standards of governance in Somalia," Mohamed said.

President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed said immediately after that deputy Prime Minister Abdi Weli would take over as acting premier until a leader of government was appointed.

(Reporting by Ibrahim Mohamed; Editing by Richard Lough)