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Sweden faults Somalia for PM Khaire's removal

Ann Linde, Sweden's Foreign Affairs minister, and ex-premier Hassan Ali Khayre

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia leadership has once again been subjected to criticism following the removal of Hassan Ali Khaire as Prime Minister, in a dramatic political onslaught which was orchestrated by parliamentarians allied to President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, with Sweden terming the actions as "unscrupulous".

Khaire, who Somalia's longest-serving Prime Minister, was kicked out on Saturday in an extraordinary parliamentary session and has since conceded the ouster, despite terming MPs' actions as "illegal and unconstitutional". He served a total of 42 months.

And Stockholm joined a number of international actors in faulting the move, saying that the events in the Somalia capital raised "concerns" about the country's democratisation process, which has been a major recipient of funds from several international partners.

Ann Linde, Sweden's Foreign Affairs minister, insisted that despite the misfortune, Somalia must show commitment in embracing inclusive dialogue by implementing agreement reached by federal government and member states during the Dhusamareb conference.

"Sweden shares the concern of HRVP Borrell with regards to this weekend’s developments in Somalia. Important that the inclusive dialogue continues and that the agreement in Dhusamareb is upheld," read a tweet by the minister, who has been very instrumental in pushing for peace and stability in Somalia.

Last week, Khaire was one of state actors in brokering the Dhusamareb deal where both FGS and FMS agreed to form a technical committee which would exolore options for electoral model before tabling proposals in two weeks' time. The leadership is set to convene in Dhusamareb again on August 15.

The country is divided over the electoral model to be used despite the National Independent Electoral Commission [NIEC] settling on one-person-one-vote elections, a move backed by international partners. However, opposition bigwigs and FMS leadership insist that the model will perpetuate a term extension for the current administration.

Sweden's position rhymes with that of the European Union, which condemned Khaire's ouster. Josep Borrell Fontelles, the High Representative of the EU, Foreign Affairs, poked holes into the removal of the PM, arguing that it violated constitutional provisions.

"Recent developments in Somalia entail a serious disrespect for the constitutional foundations and represent a setback for the country and the confidence of the European Union in the progress of Somalia," he said in remarks which were backed by EU envoy to Somalia Nicolas Berlanga.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo picked Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Gulaid as acting PM and promised to nominate a substantive PM within the next one month. Intensive lobbying has since kicked off in Mogadishu as interested parties move in to fill the post.

Prof. Afyare Elmi, an analyst on the Horn of Africa affairs, contends that the country should move with speed and settle on a model that can allow an all-inclusive inderect elections due to time constraints. According to him, the country should increase the number of electors.

"On term-extension vs. timely Indirect election, think the momentum is on the side of the latter. Hope FGS leaders understand this, negotiate with FMSs, and improve z indirect (s)election model (more cities, delegates). If anything firing the PM has not made term extension easier," he observes.


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