Top Contenders to replace PM Abdiwali Sheikh Ahmed

Mogadishu, Somalia (SOMALI AGENDA)- President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is expected to announce his new Prime Minister within the next few days. Since the sacking of Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, the President has held talks with wide range of interest groups on who to name to the position with some reports saying that announcement could come as soon as this Friday before the President leaves for the Egyptian capital Cairo. We profile some of the leading contenders for the post. 

Leading Contenders: 

Hussein Abdi Halane

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Somali economist who has a long and distinguished career with the UNHCR and Save the Children Organizations. Currently the outgoing minister of Finance, the same position he held under the premiership of Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke and Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmaajo). He is backed by Ethiopia, Farah Sheikh Abdulqadir and some interest groups in Kismayo. He is from the Somali regions of Ethiopia.

Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke

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Son of former Somali president Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, he is the current Somali ambassador to the United States and a former Prime Minister of Somalia under the presidency of Sharif Sheikh Ahmed from 2009 till 2010. Previously served with the United Nations in West Africa and Darfur. He is heavily backed by former Speaker of the Somali Parliament Sharif Hassan. He hails from Puntland.

Said Abdullahi Mohamed

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Outgoing Minister of Planning under Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed. He is supported by some associates of the President.  He is from Puntland.

Abdulqadir Abdi Hashi

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Currently serves as a member of the Somali Parliament. Formerly served as the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation for Puntland State under President Abdirehman Farole. He is considered as one of the architects of Puntland’s aggressive and hostile policy towards successive governments in Mogadishu. Played a key role in the attempted impeachment of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud earlier this year. He is backed by politicians from Puntland for the post of Somali Prime Minister. He belongs to one of the smaller clan groups in Puntland.

Dr Bashir Nur Hassan

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He has background in agricultural engineering educated in the United States. Later pursued Information Technology degree and has worked with IBM for many years. Has support from wide range of groups. Like the outgoing Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, he hails from Gedo region of Somalia.

Wild Cards

Fowzia Yusuf Haji Adan

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Former Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia and Somalia’s First Female Foreign Minister under Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon and currently the only woman being considered for the post. She hails from a leading family in Somaliland and was married to a prominent Somali General from Mogadishu. She is backed by various interest groups in Mogadishu. Her selection will be a historic moment for women in the region. If selected, will be the first Female Prime Minister in East Africa. She hails from Somaliland.

Abdurahman Hosh Jabril

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Former Minister of Constitutional Affairs and Reconciliation under the Premiership of Abdiweli Gaas, he is a prominent member of the current Parliament. He oversaw the completion of the provisional draft of the Somali constitution during his tenure. He hails from Puntland and has no real political base.

General Abdulkadir Sheikh Dini

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Popular and charismatic former head of the Somali National Army trained as a commando and educated in some of the best military schools in both the USSR & the United States. During his tenure, he’s credited with reforming Somalia’s nascent military during the transitional period. If selected, his strong military background and credibility will be critical as Somalia makes the final push to dislodge Al Shabab from its remaining pockets. He hails from Somalia’s Gedo Region.

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