Somali PM to form new gov't in 14 days

Somali PM to form new gov
# 18 January 2015 00:27 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke will form a new government in 14 days after dissolving his 60-member cabinet earlier Saturday due to disagreement over its composition, officials said, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Lawmaker Bishar Ugas said the move follows a request from the Sharmarke to the National Assembly Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari during an emergency meeting that was also attended by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in the wee hours of Saturday.

In his letter to the Parliament, Sharmarke pleaded with the legislators to give him another opportunity to reconstitute a new cabinet, promising to select a new team which attracts confidence of the nation.

"I will nominate a council of ministers which will be acceptable to this House and representative of the will of the people of Somalia," Sharmarke said in his letter to Parliament.

"I will also consider the diverse opinions of the lawmakers in order to present them a cabinet that can earn the confidence of the parliament," he added.

The lawmakers later unanimously approved the PM's request during a session in Parliament, giving him another chance to come up with a new list after Parliament rejected the 60-member list that had names of three ministers who had served the previous government.

According to the speaker, 190 lawmakers voted in favor of the 14 day extension while 10 members opposed the PM's request. He said 202 lawmakers were present during the vote with two abstaining.

Parliament wants three of the president's allies, who are powerful cabinet members to be dropped from the list while the president wants them to remain in the list.

"We advised the Prime Minister not to add the men who were behind the failure of the former governments to his list, and he did not listen to us," Ugas told Xinhua.

"We want to show him that he needs our vote and he must listen to us. If the current justice minister and interior minister are in the list, we will never pass it," he added.

This is the first time in the Somali history that a PM has recalled a list of cabinet members he announced before they are voted in by Parliament.

Sharmaarke announced his cabinet on Jan. 12, but majority of the lawmakers vowed to block his list in Parliament because had had retained the president's three key allies.