Former Somali cabinet Members face uncertainty as new crises unfold in the Parliament
Mogadishu (Harar24) – With the recent appointment of Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed as Somali prime minister a little of hope was restored for the betterment of Somalia. This however has started to be overshadowed by an ongoing disagreement within the Somali parliament regarding whether previous ministers can be included in the new cabinet.
The Somali parliament has a history of disagreement and feuds, the last one which ended in the removal of former Prime Minister Shirdon after a no-confidence vote early last month. He held his post a little over one year. In addition to that in the last decade the parliament has had ten different prime ministers.
Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed was given thirty days since he assumed office to appoint a new cabinet, however due to speculated internal dissent the Prime Minister required a ten day extension, which will end on the 10th of January. Today the Somali parliament was expected to vote regarding a motion whether the new cabinet could include minister from the former cabinet or not, however before the voting could even proceed twelve MPs objected to this motion citing the fact that it’s unconstitutional do to so and that the Prime Minister had the freedom to chose whom he saw fit. Thus, these few MPs pushed forward another motion promoting that the Prime Minister had the liberty to chose whom we wanted. Surprisingly in the midst of this and instead of debating it, the parliament speaker declared to vote on the two motions themselves. The result, 113 voted in favor of the Prime Minister having the liberty chose whom he wants, even if they were ministers in the previous cabinet, while 99 voted against. To simplify, it seems that the President will be able to choose whomever he wants, even if they were ministers from the previous cabinet.
The whole issue on whether ministers from the previous cabinet can be part of the upcoming cabinet stems from people not trusting some of the ministers whom are close to the President and are often labeled as the “Damul Jadid inner circle”. In fact former General Mohamed Nur Galal who served during the era of Siad Bare has labelled the serving security minister Abdikarim Guled as “being dangerous to security himself”. He further added that “He (Guled) has no knowledge of security, he’s just a schoolteacher, being security minister requires many prerequisites.”
Some sources have suggested that this was an expected move, as they believe that the ministers loyal to the president have been paying and bribing members of parliament to help them stay in power. Members of the parliament who spoke to Harar24 on the condition of anonymity said that “there’s still hope to reverse this motion & that this wasn’t the end of it”. They further added that “when the Prime Minister names his cabinet ministers he’ll need at least two thirds of the parliament to agree with him, what we saw today was way less than that, to add to that we doubt the people would want to see same the same ministers again whom doubt had been cast on.”
With current political differences and reports of further motions regarding the same issue, it seems as if Somalia is in for yet another bumpy ride.