[dehai-news] (VOA) Somali Parliament Backs Dismissed Prime Minister


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From: Biniam Tekle (biniamt@dehai.org)
Date: Mon Dec 15 2008 - 10:14:29 EST


  Somali Parliament Backs Dismissed Prime Minister By VOA News
*15 December 2008*

Somalia's prime minister has won a no-confidence vote in parliament, a day
after the president announced his dismissal.

Lawmakers voted 143 to 20 Monday to keep Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein
in office. Seven lawmakers abstained in the vote.

President Abdullahi Yusuf said Sunday that he was firing Mr. Hussein,
accusing his government of corruption and inefficiency. But the prime
minister challenged the move as unconstitutional.

The two leaders have been at odds for months over the makeup of a new
cabinet. On Sunday, Mr. Hussein also accused the president of trying to
derail reconciliation talks with Islamist insurgents.

In an interview with VOA Somali service on Sunday, President Yusuf said that
if parliament rejected his wish to fire Mr. Hussein, he would accept its
decision.

Islamist groups have been gaining territory across southern and central
Somalia in recent months. On Sunday, a spokesman for the leading insurgent
group al-Shabab said his group wants to impose Islamic law in Somalia, and
will never accept a power-sharing deal.

Fighting over the last two years, involving Ethiopian-backed government
forces and a variety of Islamist groups, has killed thousands of Somalis and
displaced at least a million others.

The country has not had a stable central government since 1991.

*Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.*

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