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Somalia: Parliamentary debate on sacking Somali PM halts

1Somalia’s parliament has been forced to cancel a debate on a motion seeking to dismiss the country’s Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed due to noise made by the politicians supporting the premier at the legislature.

The supporters of Sheikh Ahmed pounded on empty jugs, blew on whistles and chanted “no motion” soon after the parliamentary debate started in Mogadishu on Tuesday, forcing speaker, Mohamed Sheikh Osman, to cancel the session.

“Due to noise, we hereby close the session today. Let it be another day,” Osman said, though he failed to indicate when the debate would resume.

The no-confidence motion had been proposed earlier and was backed by lawmakers loyal to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who have accused the prime minister of doing a poor job and complained about the slow pace of change in the country.

The row between the two leaders started after Ahmed sacked one of the president’s key allies during a cabinet re-shuffle last month.

Ahmed’s predecessor, former Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, was also dismissed by the parliament after a similar dispute with Mohamud, which paralyzed the government for months last year.

Somalia has been the scene of chaos amid clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

The country did not have an effective central government from 1991 to August 2012. In September 2012, Somali lawmakers elected Mohamud as the new president of the country.