EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell Somali prime minister Hassan Ali Khaire’s ouster through a near-unanimous vote of no confidence showed “serious disrespect for the constitutional foundations” of the country.
A whopping 170 of parliament’s 178 MPs backed the no-confidence motion on Saturday, brought largely as a result of Khaire’s perceived failure to pave the way towards fully democratic elections in the Horn of Africa country.
The result was immediately endorsed by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who appointed Khaire as prime minister in February 2017.
“Developments in the House of the People of Somalia (parliament) on Saturday represent a setback for Somalia and for the confidence of the European Union in the progress of Somalia,” Borrell said in a statement, deeming that the voting procedures did not meet “the minimal constitutional requirements”.
“The European Union will review carefully how these events have come to pass, who bears responsibility and to what extent they deviate Somalia from the progress it was making and to which it had committed itself to its international partners,” he said.
The deputies were in parliament on Saturday to work on the organisation of the next national elections in 2021 when the speaker called the vote.
Farmajo then appointed Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Guled to act as caretaker prime minister pending the appointment of a successor to Khaire.
The fragile central government controls only a part of Somali territory and is facing an insurgency from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab militant group.
Currently, Somalia has a complex system in which special delegates pick lawmakers who then vote for the president.
Somalia has set itself the goal of holding a one-person, one-vote national election early next year in what would be its first full democratic election since 1969.