Somali President pledges to appoint new PM soon

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Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud pledged on Saturday to appoint a new prime minister as soon as possible.

The President’s pledge came only hours after his country’s parliament had withdrawn confidence from Somalia’s prime minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed.

“I welcome the decision reached by the members of parliament through a voting process,” Mohamoud said in a statement.

He added that the process had shown the ability of Somali institutions to take decisions on internal differences rather than solving these differences outside Somalia.

Earlier Saturday, Somalia’s parliament voted to withdraw confidence from Ahmed’s government.

Some 153 MPs voted in favor of a motion to withdraw confidence from the premier, while 80 legislators voted against the motion.

The outgoing premier accepted parliament’s decision and called on the Somali government and the international community to remain committed to stabilizing the troubled Horn of Africa country.

“We must eradicate a culture of impunity, disregard for the law and corruption if Somalia is to make meaningful progress,” said Ahmed.

“My administration has been relentless in our pursuit for reform and we leave a solid foundation that carries the hopes and aspirations of all Somalis. These dreams must be realized,” he added.

Under the Somali constitution, the president has a 30-day period to name a new premier.

Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

Earlier this year, the country appeared to inch closer to stability after government troops and African Union forces – deployed in the country since 2007 – drove the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group from most of its strongholds.

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