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Somali premier voted out of office by lawmakers -- speaker.

Published - Saturday 6 December 2014

MOGADISHU: Members of parliament voted Somalia's prime minister out of office on Saturday for the second time in a year, a move Western donors warned would threaten the war-torn nation's fragile recovery. Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed had been embroiled in a row over a cabinet reshuffle with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who had overruled the changes. The prime minister had been in office for just under a year after his predecessor, who also argued about the composition of the cabinet and been accused of poor performance, was voted out. "The prime minister and his government are out of office," Speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari said after 153 members of parliament voted against the premier and 80 backed him. "We ask the president to establish a government as soon as possible." Western donors, who have poured in billions of dollars to help rebuild Somalia after two decades of conflict, worry the removal of a second prime minister in such a short space of time will weaken a government struggling to defeat Islamist rebels. Al Shabab, which has been driven out of major strongholds in an offensive this year by African and Somali troops, has continued to stage deadly hit-and-run attacks. In the past month, the Islamist group has killed dozens of people in attacks including two cross-border raids inside Kenya by gunmen and Friday's twin suicide bombings in the Somali town of Baidoa. Parliament had tried to vote on three other occasions, only to have the session canceled because of raucous behavior of lawmakers, reflecting the political divisions of nation that has been riven by clan rivalries and the Islamist insurgency. Highlighting Western donor concerns, the US State Department said in November that "actions to put forward a parliamentary motion for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister do not serve the interests of the Somali people."

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:6SOMA
Date:Dec 6, 2014
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