MOGADISHU (HOL) – Somali Prime Minister Hassan Khaire, the longest-tenured PM in post-civil war Somalia has been ousted out of office in an abrupt vote of a no-confidence motion on Saturday.
An overwhelming majority of lawmakers in the Lower House voted to remove the PM just shortly after the session opened.
Khaire has been in office since March 2017.
The Speaker of Somali Parliament, Mohamed Mursal, announced that 170 lawmakers voted in favour of the motion. There were eight recorded votes against the vote.
Mursal said the vote of no confidence stemmed from the government’s several shortcomings. He cited the inability to table elections on time and for failure to secure the nation.
The vote comes just days after the Prime Minister and President both attended talks with Somalia’s regional leaders in Dhusamareb to discuss the forthcoming election model.
Somalia’s Federal Member State presidents have pushed for indirect elections to be held in lieu of universal suffrage to ensure the polls are held without delay. The Prime Minister echoed this sentiment in a meeting with his cabinet ministers.
The Parliamentary Speaker, Mohamed Mursal spoke out against the federal member states dictating the terms of the federal election and said that the decision ultimately lies with members of parliament.
The National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) chairperson Halima Yarey told parliament in late June that at least 13 months would be needed to prepare credible polls. She added that an alternative model could be rolled out in 9 months. Neither options have been discussed or endorsed in parliament.
Ms Yarey’s timeline goes beyond the constitutional mandate of both the parliament and the president.
Parliament’s term will end on December 27th, while the president’s mandate expires on February 8th, 2021.
President Farmajo said that he accepted the parliamentary decision and will appoint Khaire’s successor “immediately”. The future PM will, in turn, select his or her cabinet.
It is unclear whether Hassan Khaire will throw his hat in the ring this upcoming presidential election as many Somali pundits have deciphered. Still, his next few political moves will be heavily scrutinized.