No-confidence motion causes more rifts in Somalia

by Yahye | Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

Somalia’s parliament said on Monday that it had postponed a session scheduled for the day on a proposed motion to withdraw confidence from the government until conflicts between MPs were solved.

Parliament speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari said that efforts had failed to settle these conflicts.

“Parliament had failed to take a decision on the motion to withdraw confidence from the government because of the row the motion ushered in,” Jawari added in a statement.

He said discussions over the motion would be postponed until this row is settled. He did not, however, set a specific date for a session in this regard.

Postponing discussions on the motion is expected to anger MPs advocating confidence withdrawal from the government, which will consequently increase political rifts across Somalia.

Jawari had earlier on Monday abruptly ended a session on the motion when discussions on it descended into chaos, according to parliament sources.

The sources added that MPs opposing the motion had torn up the motion draft before the parliament speaker entered.

Sources noted that the speaker adjourned the session immediately after opening it, ignoring the commotion caused by lawmakers who opposed the proposed motion.

According to Somali parliamentary procedures, MPs have five days in which to review a proposed motion, after which it is put to a vote.

Several earlier parliamentary sessions convened to discuss the motion ended in similar fashion after opposition MPs chanted against the notion of withdrawing confidence from the incumbent government.

Early this month, 165 MPs in the 275-member assembly drafted a bill withdrawing confidence from Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, who fell out with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud last month over a cabinet reshuffle.

The EU and the UN have called on both Ahmed and Mohamoud to put an end to their political differences.

Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

Earlier this year, the country appeared to inch closer to stability after government troops and African Union forces – deployed in the country since 2007 – drove the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group from most of its strongholds.

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