[QODLink]
Africa

Somali president appoints new prime minister

Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, an economist, becomes second PM the African country has had in 14 months.

Last updated: 12 Dec 2013 23:20
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed was named prime minister in a press conference at Villa Somalia [EPA]

Somalia's president has appointed a new prime minister – the second prime minister the horn of Africa country has had in 14 months.

Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed was named prime minister in a press conference held on Thursday at Villa Somalia - the heavily guarded presidential palace in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

"After a long consultations, I have taken the decision to name Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed as prime minister," the president told reporters in Mogadishu. "He deserves to take up the responsibility... I hope that parliament  endorses his nomination."

Ahmed’s appointment comes after the previous Prime Minister, Abdi Farah Shirdon, lost a vote of no-confidence in the Somali parliament last week following disagreement with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud over cabinet appointments.

Ahmed, a Canadian citizen, is a newcomer to politics and was overlooked for the post last time around. An economist with a degree from the University of Ottawa, Ahmed worked for the Islamic Development Bank until his appointment. He has also worked for the eastern and southern African regional trading bloc COMESA.

Ahmed beat out politicians Hussein Halane, a former finance minister and Abdiwali Elmi Gonjeeh, an economist with a PhD from Nairobi University and a one time deputy prime minister and acting prime minister.

President Mohamud hopes the appointment of Ahmed will bring weeks of political uncertainties to an end and re-energise the fight against the al-Qaeda-linked armed rebel group, al-Shabab, which still controls significant parts of the country.

Ahmed has 30 days to appoint a new cabinet, which will have to be approved by parliament.

Previous Somali governments have been plagued by infighting between presidents and prime ministers. Ahmed is the sixth prime minister the war-torn east African country has had in six years.

Somalia's weak, UN-backed government - which sits in place in large part because of the security provided by African Union troops - controls only small parts of the country and continues to struggle to provide security and battle corruption.

Follow Hamza Mohamed on Twitter: @Hamza_Africa

334

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.