Somalia: What is holding the approval of the Nominated Prime Minister?

Published: October 30, 2010

New Prime Minister, Mohamed A. Mohamed, of Somalia’s approval by the parliament was postponed three times so far since he was nominated on October 14, 2010. The reason for postponement was reported that the president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the speaker of the parliament Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden disagreed whether the parliament would vote the PM by showing hand or by submitting secret ballot. However, it is obvious that there are other reasons why the nomination of the Prime Minister Mohamed A. Mohamed was not approved so far.
First, International community decided not to get involved in the current dispute between the president and the speaker of the parliament. So far, After the third postponement, united nation envoy for Somalia arrived in Mogadishu and only urged both group to work together.  The last thing international community was expecting was an in-fight between the speaker and the president since they were best friend in long time.
Also based on the current situation in Somalia where the current TFG only controls few blocks of Mogadishu, International community was expecting the president would nominate someone who has experience and educational background to solve the current TFG issues. It is a pattern also that they got tired of continues infighting between the president and his ex- PM and now verse the speaker of the parliament. Last time, They  got involved, they urged president to work with his ex-prime minister and focus on moving the government forward by passing new constitution before expiration of the current TFG next year and the president ignored that advice.
It was reported in Somali web sites that the nominated PM Mohamed A. Mohamed implied in his thesis for graduation from Buffalo University last year that the reason Siyad Barre’s government was so popular was his intention of uniting all Somalis including Ogaden, NFD and Djibouti. International community was surprised that the president would elected someone with that ideology while they are concerned right now first securing the peace in Mogadishu and then may be uniting south and north of the country instead of dreaming creating greater Somalia.
Second, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, speaker of the parlaiment who was long time friend of the president wanted to distance himself from the president whose government he thinks will not last after its expiration on August 2011. Sharif Hassan realized finally Sheikh Sharif’s support both international community and local are waning down. The president was expected to united the fighting militias in Mogadishu and expand his government’s reach to the other parts of the country and instead he lost both land and troops to the opposing militias since he took over the office of the presidency. To consolidated his power based, the speaker of the parliament wanted to make it clear to the parliamentarian that he is independent from the president and he is looking forward of being the speaker of the parliament after new government is elected next year.
Finally, Most parliamentarians who urged the president to select someone whose background is not from Punt land this time decided all of sudden that they are against this nomination based on new PM’s ideology. They found out the man whom they campaigned is a someone who believe that they are responsible of the distruction of the country.
The. PM wrote in his thesis for last year graduation as J Peter Pham reported that ” In particular he (PM) seems to have a bone to pick with the Hawiye clan-family which, in his view, “lacked discipline and a sense of purpose” and whose leaders “were confused as to what their priorities should be.” In fact, he asserts “one thing that they did not care so much about was protecting the weak and vulnerable people of the capital.” Peter Pham predicted that ” With opinions like these, one wonders what kind of welcome Farmajo(PM) expects from the Mogadishu’s well-armed Hawiye clansmen if his nomination is approved and he ever moves into the prime ministerial suite in the city’s besieged Villa Somalia presidential compound” .     
Beside that, they also realized that he has no experience or educational background to deal with the current situation other than being someone who would be used by the president. It was reported that even his own clan men are opposed to him and urging the president to select more qualified individual among them.
One analyst who is familiar with the current political situation in Somalia said that unless the real issues that are preventing the approval of the prime minister is dealt with, there will be more postponement to come in the coming days. To avoid further mishap, this analyst suggested the president should immediately nominate someone acceptable to both Somalis and international community, whose experience and educational background would help him to deal with the current situation.
By: Mohamed A. Hussein

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