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Somalia’s Prime Minister Loses Confidence Vote Amid Dispute

Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon
Abdi Farah Shirdon was appointed as prime minister in October 2012 as part of the 16th attempt to establish an effective central administration in Somalia. Photographer: Abdurashid Abdulle/AFP via Getty Images

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon was removed from office after he lost a confidence vote in parliament, following a dispute with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud over cabinet appointments.

The vote was backed by 184 lawmakers against 64 who voted in favor of Shirdon, Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawarey told lawmakers today in the capital, Mogadishu. Shirdon said before the vote that he had a disagreement with Mohamoud about appoints to his administration.

“The president asked me to resign after I had excluded some of the president’s ministerial picks for the new cabinet,” he told reporters. “These guys never thought that they will be excluded from the cabinet list and that is why the president asked me to resign.”

Shirdon was appointed as prime minister in October 2012 as part of the 16th attempt to establish an effective central administration in Somalia. The Horn of Africa nation has been wracked by conflict since the fall in 1991 of Mohamed Siad Barre’s dictatorship that spawned 1 million refugees, about a 10th of its population and more than any other nation except for Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

The no-confidence vote was an “unprecedented piece of parliamentary business” that was managed in accordance with the provisional constitution, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia Nicholas Kay said in an e-mailed statement.

New Deal

“Shirdon had worked hard to promote growth and progress and played an important part in creating the New Deal Compact between international partners and Somalia,” Kay said.

The New Deal, signed by more than 40 countries in 2011, promised change for countries affected by conflict or fragility. International donors on Sept. 16 pledged 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion) to help Somalia rebuild its economy.

Mohamoud thanked Shirdon for his work and said the constitution had served as a “clear guidance throughout this situation,” according to a statement e-mailed by his office. He didn’t comment on the dispute Shirdon referred to.

Under the constitution, Mohamoud must appoint a new prime minister within a month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mohamed Sheikh Nor in Mogadishu at msheikhnor@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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