Somali PM faces sacking prospect amid rifts with president

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by Judy Maina,
judy.maina@alleastafrica.com

NAIROBI – Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud may sack his prime minister Omar Abdirashid as rifts between the two leaders widened ahead of a presidential election which is scheduled to take place on October 30, sources said Friday.

The development comes after Somali prime minister announced for his candidacy for the country’s upcoming presidential election, a move opposed by the president.

Sources close to Somali president told Alleastafrica news agency that despite efforts by local elders to solve the feud, Somali prime minister defied requests by the president to drop his candidacy decision.

The new rift threatens to wreck the country’s central government which was mandated to lead the horn of African nation into general elections following the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a new parliament and the adoption of a new constitution in 2012.

A senior Somali government official who asked not to be named told Alleastafrica that the president was considering firing the prime minister next week.

However, another source that no conclusion has yet been reached by the president to dismiss his prime minister.

The growing tension between Mr. Mohamud and Mr. Abdirashid comes at a time Somalia is racing against time to hold elections in the country which is struggling to contain deadly attacks by the Al-Qaeda linked Alshabab group amid pressure by the international community which insisted on holding timely elections.

It was not immediately clear what effect the move would have on the work of the interim government, which has struggled to impose its authority on the chaotic Horn of Africa nations since coming to power at the start of last year.

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