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Sacked Prime Minister Refuses to Step Down

The Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke has refused to step down insisting the President’s decision to sack his government was “unlawful”

At a press conference in Mogadishu this morning, Mr. Sharmarke said it was the Parliament’s, and not the President’s jurisdiction to dismiss his government.

On Monday President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed announced that he would appoint a new Prime Minister in order to end a bitter dispute within the Parliamentarians. Also, the Speaker of the Parliament, Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nur has resigned yesterday in return for becoming a minister in a future government.

Prime Minister Sharmarke said he is willing to seek a vote of confidence in the Parliament once a new Speaker is elected.

The Somali transitional charter says the president may dismiss the Cabinet and prime minister if the government fails to obtain the required vote of confidence from Parliament.

President Sheikh Ahmed Sheikh Sharif depends heavily on the backing of the UN and other international partners. The Associated Press has quoted the United Nations Specaila Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah speaking of in support of the President Sharif for the actions he is taking to overcome the crisis. Mr. Oulad-Abdallah on Monday said, “The President can count on the backing of the United Nations and the international community at this present juncture."