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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Opposing Somali MPs vote out speaker, government

MOGADISHU (Saba) -- Somali lawmakers opposed to the Speaker on Sunday said that they sacked the official hours after he announced the Somali government has lost a vote of confidence which he said was conducted during closed doors session of the parliament, according to Xinhua.

The tit-for-tat move comes after the Somali parliament met in Mogadishu for the first time in more than five months following row between the two, the Somali government on the one hand and supporters of the speaker in the Somali legislature.

The much anticipated session on Sunday was mired by chaos as opposing MPs booed one another and the speaker was unable to chair the session because of the disorder and noise in the newly renovated parliament building.

The media was not allowed to cover the event and were asked to go out of the parliament building so that the MPs could have closed doors session.

The Speaker, Sheikh Adan Madobe, spoke with reporters soon after the end of the parliament meeting and announced that the Somali government lost a vote of no-confidence.

"I was asked by MP's to conduct a vote of no-confidence on the government and I accepted it. Three hundred and eighteen MP's attended. Two hundred and eighty voted against the government thirty MP voted in favour while eight abstained," Adan Madobe told reporters.

Most of the lawmakers opposing the speaker are members of the government of Prime Minister, Omar Abdelrashid Ali Sharmarke, whose government has been targeted with an accountability motion tabled in front of the parliament by supporters of the speakers.

Soon after the speaker's announcement, lawmakers opposed to the speaker said that they have sacked Madobe and named Haji Shukri Sheikh Ahmed, the eldest member of the Somali parliament as the interim speaker in accordance with the Somali national charter.

Many lawmakers have been arguing that the term of office of the speaker have ended last August when the term of the former Somali government would have ended before it was extended in the Djibouti peace process that led to the accommodation of former opposition members into the government and election of the current moderate Islamist President, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

The latest development comes as the death toll from the fighting that ensued after Islamist launched mortars attack on the parliament meeting, rose to 20 while the number of the wounded reached almost 60, according to medical and emergency services in Mogadishu.

Source: Saba

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