BAIDOA, Somalia Dec 29 (Garowe Online) - The i
nterim President of Somalia, Mr. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, has told the country's federal parliament that he is stepping down as head of state after four years in power, Radio Garowe reports.
President Yusuf told lawmakers on Monday that his resignation was "a personal decision," but cited consultations with loyal lawmakers in Baidoa, the seat of parliament.
"As I promised before, when you [parliament] elected me, I cannot do the job any longer and so I have returned the duty [back] to you," said Mr. Yusuf, who offered a brief address declaring his resignation.
|Mr. Abdullahi Yusuf|
He handed his resignation papers over to Adan "Madobe" Mohamed, the Speaker of parliament, who becomes the acting President under the transitional constitution.
Mr. Yusuf told the MPs that he is "ready to work with" whoever becomes the country's next president.
Security in Baidoa was extra tight, as Somali and Ethiopian troops roamed the roads, especially around ADC Hall where the parliament meets.
Yusuf's resignation was expected, after being labeled an obstacle to peace and pressured by the U.S. and regional powers to resign.
The former Somali leader flew out of Baidoa on a private plane, but there was no information on the plane's destination.
In November, Mr. Yusuf told reporters in Garowe, capital of his native region of Puntland, that he would be present on January 8, 2009, in Garowe when the Puntland Parliament elects the region's next leader.
Yusuf's resignation ends a months-long feud with interim Prime Minister Nur "Adde" Hassan Hussein, who enjoys the backing of the international community.
Source: Garowe Online