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The Somali Cabinet Vote Means Important Work Ahead


FILE - Somalia’s parliament has endorsed the new cabinet of Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, right. He’s shown addressing delegates after being nominated for his post by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, left, in Mogadishu, Dec. 17, 2014.

Following a long delay caused by political infighting, the Somali Parliament has overwhelmingly approved Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke’s selections to head cabinet ministries.

Following a long delay caused by political infighting, the Somali Parliament has overwhelmingly approved Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke’s selections to head cabinet ministries. The 191-22 vote sets the stage for lawmakers to ratify the constitution and pass a variety of urgently needed laws to prepare for presidential elections in 2016.

The country’s parliament was at an impasse since October, when differences between President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and then-prime minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed reached a pinnacle. The dispute led to Ahmed's dismissal and the eventual appointment of Sharmake. Since then, the new prime minister has faced an uphill task in convincing lawmakers that his Cabinet choices will help end Somalia's long-running political crisis.

With approval of his cabinet selections, the prime minister said his government will improve security, justice, health, national reconciliation and the country’s infrastructure.

The United States welcomes the February 9 Parliamentary confirmation of Somalia’s Council of Ministers. As the new cabinet assumes office, we urge the Federal Government of Somalia to make swift progress in the important work that remains to realize its Vision 2016, including a constitutional referendum and national elections.

Somalia’s progress toward realizing its peacebuilding, governance, and security goals is of critical importance to the people of Somalia and the broader region. The United States is committed to supporting the government and people of Somalia. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with the Somali Government and people as they work to stabilize and rebuild their country.

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