Somali President names new PM, rejecting parliament’s trust vote

December 16th, 2008 - 4:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Mogadishu, Dec 16 (Xinhua) Somali President Abdulahi Yusuf Ahmed Tuesday named Mohamed Mohamoud Guled Gamadere as the new prime minister to replace Nur Hassan Hussein whom he has sacked, over-riding as “unconstitutional” a parliamentary vote of confidence in Hussein. “The president has appointed Mohamoud Guled Gamadere as the new prime minister after sacking Nur Hassan Hussein,” presidential spokesman Hussein Mohamed Mohamoud, told reporters.

The president had sacked Hussein Sunday, accusing him of incompetence, embezzlement and mismanagement.

But in a confidence vote Monday in the 170-seat parliament, lawmakers almost unanimously voted for the Hussein ministry.

Speaking Sunday in the southern town of Baidoa, the seat of parliament, soon after his sacking, Hussein claimed that the president had no “legal authority” to sack him and that he would continue to serve in his capacity as prime minister.

The international community, which supports the transitional government, has called on the two sides to bridge their differences and join efforts to work for the interests of the country and its people.

In a statement issued late Sunday, African Union Commission chief Jean Ping said the sacking of the prime minister would undermine efforts to bring peace and further weaken the fragile transitional government of Somalia.

On Monday the European Union expressed concerns over the political developments in Somalia where the differences between the president and prime minister are threatening to bring down the fragile transitional government.

Somalia has been wracked by fighting between different armed groups for 17 years which has displaced some one million people. The absence of an effective government in the country has led to a surge in pirate attacks on international shipping off its coast.

Some three million people, around a third of the population, need urgent food assistance, aid agencies have said.

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