From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Dec 24 2008 - 06:31:45 EST
Incoming Somali premier quits
BAIDOA, Somalia (AFP) - A lawmaker whose appointment as prime minister was
rejected by Somalia's parliament announced he was standing aside on
Wednesday in a bid to end a political crisis in the war-torn nation.
Mohamoud Mohamed Guled told reporters that he had written a resignation
letter to President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, saying he did not want to become
an "obstacle" to dialogue between political rivals.
"After looking into the situation in the country I decided to resign as the
prime minister of Somalia and I have given my resignation letter to his
excellency the president of Somalia," he said.
"I am paving the way for the continuation of dialogue between Somali leaders
and I don't want to become an obstacle.
"I hope the president will accept my resignation and I will remain a member
Guled was named prime minister by Yusuf last Tuesday after the president had
sacked the incumbent Nur Hassan Hussein and his entire cabinet.
However his appointment was promptly rejected by parliament which passed an
overwhelming vote of confidence in Hussein, plunging the country into
further political turmoil.
The appointment also triggered criticism from neighbouring countries with
the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, representing six East
African countries, saying it would impose sanctions.
Yusuf and Hussein have been at loggerheads in recent months, notably over
attempts to reach a reconciliation deal with the Islamist-dominated Alliance
for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) negotiated in Djibouti.
Hussein, who was appointed in November 2007, also survived a no-confidence
vote in September after some lawmakers accused him of embezzling state
He replaced Ali Mohamed Gedi who was forced to resign after months of a
bruising power struggle with Yusuf, a veteran warlord who has headed
Somalia's transitional administration since its inception in 2004.
Conflict in Somalia and power struggles that erupted since the 1991 ouster
of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre have scuppered numerous initiatives to
restore national stability.
Yusuf's transitional authority was largely confined to the backwater of
Baidoa until an Islamist
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