21 December 2008

Somalia: PM Nur Adde Confidence Vote 'Never Happened' - 80 MPs

A group of lawmakers in Somalia say a recent vote-of-confidence declared by Speaker Adan "Madobe" Mohamed did not take place, Radio Garowe reported Sunday.

About 80 MPs held discussions in Baidoa, an inland town located 250km northwest of Mogadishu, the national capital. Somalia's federal parliament has been based in Baidoa since 2006, due to prevailing insecurity in Mogadishu.

"We discussed the so-called votes of Dec. 15 and Dec. 17, which never happened," said MP Ismail Ali Nur, who spoke on behalf of the dissenting lawmakers, while urging people to "watch video footage recorded from that session."

He indicated that the constitution requires a parliament quorum of no less than 139 MPs present for votes, but that "only 95 MPs" showed up.

MP Nur said this group of dissident legislators "will not set foot inside parliament" as long as Adan Madobe is the Speaker, after accusing Speaker Madobe of "violating parliamentary bylaws."

Speaker Madobe announced to local and international media that 143 MPs approved the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Nur "Adde" Hassan Hussein, which President Abdullahi Yusuf refused to endorse.

A day earlier, Yusuf "fired" Nur Adde and appointed a new Prime Minister for the country, in the person of Mr. Mohamed Mohamud "Gamodheere," a federal MP.

The leadership dispute threw Somalia's parliament into chaos, with Speaker Madobe declaring that Nur Adde won the confidence vote on Dec. 15 and that the Djibouti Agreement was "approved" by lawmakers on Dec. 17.

The Djibouti Agreement calls for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops within 120 days and the establishment of a 'Unity Government,' which will create a bloated 550-seat parliament including an opposition faction and elect new leadership for Somalia by January 2009.

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