A push by supporters of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud to remove Somalia’s Prime Minister from office is threatening to paralyze the government there. A parliamentary debate over Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed’s leadership on Nov. 11 erupted in shouting, whistling and catcalls, forcing the Speaker to halt the session.
At issue was a proposed no-confidence vote against the prime minister, which was being pressed by lawmakers loyal to the President. The two leaders fell out after the Prime Minister moved a minister allied with the President into another cabinet position last month. Prime Minister Abdiweli’s predecessor, Abdi Farah Shirdon, was removed from office by parliament last year after a similar dispute with the president that paralyzed the government for months.
The United States notes with concern the recent political turmoil in Somalia. Actions to put forward a parliamentary motion for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister do not serve the interests of the Somali people.
The United States remains neutral in the dispute between the president and prime minister. We are committed to the principles of the New Deal Compact which aims to build a sovereign, secure, democratic, united, and federal Somalia. Because Somalia’s leadership is distracted with political division, the United States currently does not see the utility in sending a delegation to the High Level Partnership Forum on Somalia, which is meeting in Copenhagen to review progress under the New Deal.
We stand with the international community in urging the Federal Government of Somalia to implement fully its Vision 2016 plan and rise above the political differences that divert from the important work of unifying the country under a federal framework.