Monday, September 29, 2014

Somalia President is Pushing a Motion Against Prime Minister
Somalia government members with AU delegation.
September 29, 2014

The Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has acknowledged that “ there is a rift” between him and his prime minister, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, and that their differences would be settled at the Somali Federal Parliament.

This is a codeword for pushing a motion of no confidence against the prime minister. Why is Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed facing the wrath of Damul-jadiid, president Hassan Sheikh’s inner circle? Hand-picked by Damuljadiid (DM) associates, Abdiweli Sheikh refused to play a second fiddle to president Hassan when it comes to running the government in Mogadishu. The president wants to treat Abdilweli as a sacrificial PM whenever the going gets tough for his DM associates .

What Abdiweli Sheikh’s government has achieved in 10 months has become stumbling-block to president Hassan Sheikh’s stratagems to make the Somali Federal Government (SFG) a Damul-jadiid business.

Prime Minsinter Abdiweli has come to an office over which corruption accusations were hovering. How he addressed corruption allegations is a good example about promoting transparency within the SFG. “Somalia is cancelling or renegotiating a series of high-profile contracts ranging from oil exploration to port operations as the country struggles to stave off donors’ concerns about government corruption,” reported the Financial Times. “The contracts – nine multi-million-dollars deals – include a contentious agreement with Shulman Rogers, a US law firm, and an oil exploration deal with Soma Oil and Gas, a new UK company headed by the former leader of the Conservative party, Michael Howard.”

The president commissioned Shulman Rogers to trace Somali assets and channel recovered assets through a account in Abu Dhabi. This act was a violation of an agreement signed in London 2012 to ensure all Somali assets and assistance from donor countries will be channeled through a joint account managed by Somalia and donor countries. Abdilweli Sheikh’s anti-corruption drive has touched a raw nerve Damuljadiid’s. The second cause for rift between the president and the prime minister is the sacking of the head of Somali intelligence service who is a close associate of president Hassan Sheikh. The former head of the intelligence service, Sanbaloolshe, was disrespectful to top cabinet members who tried to intervene when he ordered the arrest of an MP. Sanbaloolshe was sacked for professional misconduct following a vote by SFG cabinet members. President Hassan Sheikh was initially reluctant to accept the decision of the cabinet but at last he gave in.

The Somali Federal Government is now more transparent and less cliquish than it was one year ago. Proposing a vote of confidence against prime minister Abdiweli is the last political card Damuljadiid group members want to use to recapture the Somali government.


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