Thursday, June 23, 2011

Somalia names new prime minister

Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed (L) and his new Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali at a press conference at Mogadishu on June 23, 2011

Source: Press TV

Acting Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has been announced as the country's new premier following Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's resignation.

Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on Thursday mandated Ali with forming a government, Reuters reported.

“He is a good man and worked hard while he was the deputy for the former PM. I hope he will improve the situation of Somalia,” Sheikh Ahmed said at a news conference in the capital Mogadishu.

The former prime minister stepped down last week following a deal inked earlier in June between the president and Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. The deal extended the embattled administration's mission by 12 months.

The Kampala agreement is to settle prolonged disputes between the two opponents, which have infuriated international donors pushing for immediate political reform and ending armed clashes between rival factions.

The Ahmed administration was to be dissolved in August and the president and the speaker, who have been vying for the top post, were wrangling over the next step.

Ali, who graduated in public administration from Harvard and in economics from Vanderbilt University, was a professor of economics in the United States before joining the Somali government. He also served as minister for planning and international cooperation.

“Somalia is in a difficult situation, there is an economic crisis and insecurity. I hope I will succeed in overcoming all these problems. I urge the entire government and Somalis to help me achieve this,” the technocrat new prime minister said.

Ali is expected to name his cabinet within the next few weeks following consultations with members of parliament and clan elders.

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