Parliament Meeting To Approve Somalia’s New Cabinet Ends In Scuffles

Abdi Hajji Hussein – AHN News Correspondent

Mogadishu, Somalia (AHN) – After two days of discussions, Somali parliamentarians on Monday met in Mogadishu to approve and give a vote of confidence to the newly designated Cabinet. The session ended in dissension with no decision on the ministers.

The assembly, which opened with the presence of more than 348 of the 550-member parliament, saw legislators disagree over how the vote should be cast. A large number of them suggested the vote be conducted with a display of hands, while others proposed a secret ballot. Parliamentarians turned noisy and rowdy when Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adam announced a secret ballot would be conducted and ordered the ballot box to be put at the center of the building.

Hassan adjourned the session after it deteriorated into scuffles between MPs.

In mid-October, the president of war-torn Somalia selected Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed to become the next prime minister, replacing Omar Abdi Rashed Ali Sharmarke, who resigned in September. After disputes and repeated delays, Mohammed was approved. On Nov. 12, the new prime minister, better known as “Farmajo,” picked a small Cabinet of 18. All but three ministers are new to Somalia’s political arena and critics say the cabinet will face some difficulty getting a vote of confidence from Somali transitional federal parliament.

When approved, the Cabinet together with its new Somali-American prime minister will inherit beleaguered, corrupt and failed government institutions.

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