The European Union throws its support behind Somali Prime Minister

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA, NOVEMBER, 2014 (Somali Agenda)- Tension between Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed threatens to spillover to the parliament as political gridlock descends upon Mogadishu. Members of Somalia’s Federal Parliament loyal to the president have been frantically organizing to prepare a motion of no confidence against the country’s prime minister.

The latest political confrontation was triggered after the prime minister reshuffled his cabinet and moved the influential justice and constitutional affairs minister Farrah Abdulqadir to the ministry of veterinary and animal husbandry. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud swiftly issued a presidential directive ordering the cabinet ministers to ignore the reshuffle.

Earlier this week, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Nicholas Kay released a statement calling for political stability and raised concerns over allegations some parliamentarians were exchanging their votes for cash in the context of a “No Confidence’ Motion. The European Union joined Nicholas Kay in issuing a similar statement calling for political compromise and stability.

Diplomatic sources privy to the matter tell SOMALI AGENDA the European Union is worried about the potential of public funds being used for political campaigning by the Somali leadership and proposed working with the World Bank to scrutinize public funds. The European Union has suggested the need to focus on Gulf supporters of Somalia’s beleaguered president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, in particular the oil-rich kingdom of Qatar, in a bid to exert more pressure on the president.

In the run up to the forthcoming Copenhagen Conference on Somalia which is scheduled to take place later this month, sources tell SOMALI AGENDA the European Union’s message is clear that it wants to see Somali political leaders sharing power and building coalitions. Sources also tell SOMALI AGENDA that the European Union is concerned that continued political crisis in Somalia will adversely impact plans to complete the political Federal Map by the end of 2014.

The current political crisis coincides with widespread anger and resentment against Somalia’s Federal Government over its muted response to ongoing devastating floods in Middle Shebelle and Hiiraan Regions. The United Nations estimates more than three million Somalis face a dire humanitarian emergency.

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