Somali prime minister names new cabinet

Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke Monday announced a 60-member cabinet, which retains key allies of the president.

Mogadishu: Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke Monday announced a 60-member cabinet, which retains key allies of the president.

The list consists of a deputy prime minister, 25 ministers, 25 assistant ministers and nine state ministers with the president`s key allies retaining influential positions in the new set-up.

"After long discussions with the president, the house speaker and other parties concerned, I am announcing a cabinet that has the capacity to continue and finish the ongoing projects that will take Somalia to reach its Vision 2016, which targets free and fair elections in the country," Xinhua news agency quoted Sharmarke as telling journalists in Mogadishu.

He said he came up with the list after wide consultations with the key leaders in the Horn of Africa nation to ensure that the new cabinet enjoyed support across board.

He called on parliament to approve the new list of the cabinet, which he said "consists of members that have been doing important work" for the public, which he needed them to continue.

"There will be real accountability in order to make sure that we achieve the Vision 2016, to help the country host free and fair elections. I am very hopeful that the parliament will approve my list of Cabinet," Sharmarke added.

According to the list, the prime minister nominated Mohamed Omar Arte, son of Omar Arte Ghalib and a renowned Somali foreign affairs minister, as deputy prime minister.

Khadija Mohamed Diriye was named as the minister of women and family affairs, and Nadifo Mohamed Osman will head the ministry of public works and eeconstruction docket.

Although there are new faces in the cabinet, the prime minister retained key ministers who served under his predecessor in the same positions while swapping positions for others.

The ministry of foreign affairs went to Abdirahman Duale Beyle. Former National Intelligence and Security chief Abdullahi Sanbololshe, who was fired by the cabinet in September last year, was nominated as the minister of internal security.

The announcement comes a day after about 100 lawmakers vowed to block the approval of the new cabinet list in parliament if the prime minister included ministers from the previous administration in the his new list.

Sharmarke has vowed to prioritise security, the completion of a new constitution, and liberation of remaining areas from the militant group Al Shabaab, and urged the parliament to expedite the approval of the new ministers to help develop Somalia.


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