Somalia: Envoy to US named as new Prime Minister
MOGADISHU, Somalia Dec 17, 2014 (Garowe Online)-Federal Government of Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has appointed Somali envoy to the United States Ambassador Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as the third Prime Minister during a well-organized event at Villa Somalia presidential compound on Wednesday afternoon, Garowe Online reports.
Federal MPs led by parliament speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari and international community representatives attended the ceremony.
President Mohamud said that Somalia is at critical juncture and needs the new Prime Minister to realize vision 2016.
On his side, Sharmarke thanked Mohamud, pledging that he will work to bring about lasting peace and democratic elections over the next few months.
On Saturday, Garowe Online has learned that Sharmarke departed Washington for Mogadishu through Nairobi.
The new Prime Minister is expected to set up a more inclusive cabinet as international community that has been a major financier for Somalia wants to see the country’s time-table towards election by 2016 realized.
On December 6, 275-seat-chamber of parliament voted outgoing Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed out of office following a month-long impasse.
In December 2013, Abdiweli’s predecessor Shirdon was ousted in similar vote.
Somalia’s nascent institutions appear to be grappling with pervasive corruption and chronic insecurity.
Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC), complex clan politics and personal loyalties have since been a flashpoint for infighting between the President and Prime Minister.
Who is Sharmarke?
Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke is a Somali-Canadian diplomat, from privileged background, and is the son of former President and Prime minister, Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke who was assassinated by his bodyguard in Sool regional capital of Lasanod on October 15, 1969 during a visit to drought-stricken regions in northern Somalia.
Before taking on a diplomatic post as Somalia ambassador to the United States in 2009, interim President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed cherry-picked Sharmarke for premiership.
Besides, He is the son of Ruqia, the daughter of renowned Islamic scholar Dahir Ali Boss. Sharmarke graduated with BA in Economics from Somali National University (SNU), and subsequently studied at Carleton University in Ottawa, earning BA in Political science and MA in Political Economics.
On September 21, 2010, Somali envoy to the US left his top political job after bitter stand-off came into being between him and President Ahmed.
In July 2014, President Mohamud named him Somalia’s first ambassador to the United States in 20 years.
In contrast to his predecessors, he will not be a novice in Somali politics.