Somalia’s parliament votes to kick out prime minister

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An AMISOM soldier stands guard at Hotel Uruba in Mogadishu on October 24, 2012. Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shabab insurgents are on the back foot, reeling from a string of losses as they battle a 17,000-strong African Union force as well as Ethiopian troops and Somali forces. But while the extremist movement is badly damaged a hard core remain a potent threat, linking up with regional Islamist groups and leaving operatives to launch attacks across the south, analysts warn.

Credit:

ABDURASHID ABIKAR

Somalia’s parliament voted Monday to remove the country’s prime minister from office after just 13 months on the job.

The vote was 184 to 65 to eject Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon and his 10-member cabinet.

Shirdon, Somalia’s sixth prime minister in six years, was a personal friend of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud when he was appointed to office. But the two had been feuding lately, including over Shirdon’s attempt to fire some of the president's allies from the cabinet last month, and Mohamud asked for Shirdon’s resignation.

When Shirdon refused to step down, Somalia’s parliament got the chance to decide on his fate.

Before the vote, Shirdon told the BBC he would accept the parliament’s decision. He will remain in office until the president appoints a new prime minister, which must happen within 30 days.

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While Shirdon's removal is yet another sign that Somalia is far from stable, Nicholas Kay, the UN’s special representative to Somalia, said it was a sign of progress that the Somali government was following a legal and constitutional process to oust Shirdon.

“This unprecedented piece of parliamentary business was managed in accordance with the provisional constitution and the rules of procedure of the parliament,” Kay said.