4 November 2012

Somalia: PM Shirdon Appoints Small Cabinet Consisting of President Hassan Allies

Somalia has unveiled a new Cabinet including a female foreign minister, Fozia Yusuf Haji Aden.She's the first woman to hold such a senior position. ... ( Resource: Somali Elders Add New Wrinkle to Political Process )

Mogadishu, Somalia — Prime Minister Saa'id Farah Shirdon announced the Cabinet of Ministers consisting of 10 Ministers defying the 4.5 formula, Garowe Online reports.

At the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu a presidential decree was released announcing the new Cabinet in which 3 Ministers previously served under Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

The undersized Cabinet required that some Ministers hold two positions as this is the first time that the cabinet defies the 4.5 power sharing scheme among Somali tribes.

When former Col. Abdullahi Yusuf was the TFG President the Council of Ministers held 42 offices but was scaled down to 36 in 2006 and finally to 18 in 2010 but never infringed the 4.5 power-sharing scheme.

The unaccustomed cabinet brought more changes than just size, Fowzia Yusuf Haji a former diplomatic official and academic, was named the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, a first in Somali politics.

Minister Fowzia also formed a political party in Somaliland that was rejected by the Somaliland electoral commission. She also founded a Somali language TV station.

Abdullahi Haji Fiqi who served as Minister of Security under Prime Minister Farmajo, was returned to his former position.

Maryan Qassim who also served under Prime Minister Farmajo as Minister of Women and Family Affairs, was named Minister of Public Affairs on Sunday.

Prime Shirdon announced last week that the Cabinet of Ministers would be named last Thursday.

According to government sources, the delay in naming the Ministers was due to differences between Prime Minister Shirdon and Presdient Hassan as to the number of Ministers.

The sources also said that the two had disagreed over some of Prime Minister Shirdon's choices.

The Cabinet share close ties with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who was elected in September after defeating former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

"It's clear to notice that President Hassan had a lot of influence in the selection of the Cabinet," said the government source.

Prime Minister Shirdon gave a statement to press after the announcement.

"I chose a small strong Cabinet which will push Somalia in the right direction," said Prime Minister Shirdon.

President Hassan was pleased with the new Cabinet that took almost a month to be partially announced.

"I'm very pleased with this historic new cabinet, and I believe that we have moved in the right direction for Somalia" said President Hassan.

The new Cabinet will have to be approved by the Federal Parliament.

There are 10 more Deputy Ministers and 5 State Ministers that have to be selected to complete the Council of Ministers.

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