Prime Minister’s problems compound

Mogadishu, Somalia (SOMALI AGENDA) – The political fallout over Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke’s ill-fated cabinet continues to grow as new fissures begin to develop between President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his prime minister.

Multiple sources with intricate knowledge of the events that forced Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke to recall his cabinet confirm to SOMALI AGENDA that on the 11th hour the prime minister came to the obvious realization that he simply did not have the required parliamentary votes. According to the sources, this triggered lengthy discussions between President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his Prime Minister with close aides and allies of the President, in particular Fahad Yassin and the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Regional Director for Horn of Africa Hassan Khaire playing mediatory role.

The Prime Minister is believed to have suggested that up to eleven ministers including many of the President’s allies in the cabinet be dismissed in order to salvage the rest of the cabinet. Our sources tell us this plan was swiftly rejected by Somalia’s powerful outgoing Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir and the former Security Minister Abdikarim Guled. Alternatively, Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir proposed that the cabinet in its entirety be dismissed and a new one named. Farah additionally requested that the new cabinet should not contain a single member of the parliament. This was a clear attempt to derail the growing momentum of the parliament and undermine its credibility as a solution to Somalia’s myriad problems.

With less than two weeks to overcome multiple diverging interests, the Prime Minister has challenging days ahead of him as he attempts to satisfy deeply conflicting interest groups.

Somalia has been in an institutional paralysis ever since the latest political conflict started on October 25th of last year. Donor nations have expressed concerns that continued political infighting will undermine the security gains made against the Al Shabab terrorist group and prevent the country from meeting its Vision 2016 objectives.

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