A Snag for Somalia’s New Prime Minister

I’ve been following the installation of the new prime minister for Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, whose predecessor departed amidst infighting and controversy. Mohamed is now facing difficulties of his own:

A new political crisis appears to be brewing in Somalia, where leaders cannot agree how parliament should vote for the next prime minister.

President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed says lawmakers must cast their votes openly, while the speaker of parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, has said parliament will vote by secret ballot.

On Sunday, President Sharif called on the speaker to, in his words, uphold the law and not obstruct lawmakers from discharging their constitutional duties.

The dispute has forced repeated delay of a vote on prime minister-nominee Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

It’s been over a month since news broke of Mohamed’s predecessor’s resignation. The delays in the hand-off, and the public bickering over procedure, are starting to belie the claims that the new appointment will streamline decision-making within the TFG. For many observers, myself included, these quarrels will diminish Mohamed’s political stature before he even begins his new job.

5 thoughts on “A Snag for Somalia’s New Prime Minister

  1. The overall somali problems and unending cycles of voilence are based that our country has leadership crises. Now the president was mere religous student who never formally schooled. It is like from deciple to president. The speaker was miraa dealer and truck driver who has never spent in school.
    the nominated PM was out of the country for 30 years.
    He knows alot of american affairs rather than his home country. the members of the parlaiment are warlords and illitrates. So the somali anarchy will continue as long as these people are in driving seat. God bless somalia, my country that I will love for ever.
    Concerned Somali refugee in Kenya.

    • Thanks a lot for commenting Farah. What you say here…

      the nominated PM was out of the country for 30 years.
      He knows alot of american affairs rather than his home country. the members of the parlaiment are warlords and illitrates. So the somali anarchy will continue as long as these people are in driving seat.

      …makes a lot of sense to me.

  2. I believe that the problem with Somalia has nothing to do with leadership crisis. In fact Somalia has some of the best schooled leaders in the world. (Several of the former Prime Ministers have graduate degrees) The President also studied Sheria law at a Sudanese University. Also Somalis are about 99% Moslems and they see Sheria Law as the best law to bring peace in the country. Conversely, the nominated Somali Prime Minister (he has Masters Degree) might have lived in NY for decades, but he has never lived in a vacuum. He has helped deal with refugees, kept abreast with the daily development in Somalia just as you and I do. Finally remember that when the same President was the leader of ICU (Islamic Court Union) Mogadishu was almost peaceful. I wish Ethiopia and America had left them alone. Now the one time ICU has transformed into a terror outfit namely Al Shabab and Hisbu Islam. Therefore the real problem with is clannish idiots bent on perpetual feud and of course outright selfishness of the International Community. I am however glad that America and some Western Countries are now waking up to the reality after decades of pretending that the solution lies in Mogadishu by supporting Somaliland, Puntland and any areas where clan leaders choose to live in harmony, peace and prosperity. I believe that a peaceful Somaliland, Puntland will tame Mogadishu’s chest thumping and imaginary government and terrorists.

    • This is a fabulous comment and well argued. But I would add that leadership crises stem in part from international interference, so it’s all related. Sharif Ahmed was only allowed to be president of (southern) Somalia under terms set by outsiders and by Western-educated Somali elites. The TFG’s leadership problems are an effect (and perhaps to some extent a cause too) of its weakness as an institution dependent on outsiders for survival.

  3. Pingback: Somalia: Parliament Approves Mohamed as PM « Sahel Blog

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