Somalia's Prime Minister resigns amid tensions
Mogadishu: Somalia's prime minister resigned
on Tuesday to prevent what he called political turmoil amid an
impasse with the country's president.
Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke told reporters he was
resigning while standing alongside President Sheik Sharif
Sheik Ahmed, who thanked the prime minister for what he called
a "courageous decision."
"After seeing that the political turmoil between me and
the president has caused security vulnerability, I have
decided to resign to save the nation and give a chance to
others," the prime minister said.
The resignation comes amid a rift between Sharmarke and
Ahmed over a new draft constitution. The two have not gotten
along for months, and a vote of confidence on the prime
minister had been scheduled over the weekend, though it was
Ahmed called Sharmarke's decision "historic" because the
impasse was settled among Somalis instead of seeking outside
intervention. Sharmarke, who holds a Canadian passport, became
prime minister in February 2009 after the government signed a
deal with opposition groups led by Ahmed.
The prime minister appeared far from downcast as he
announced his resignation. Sharmarke smiled and waved to
reporters as he left the news conference, which was
well-attended by members of parliament and Cabinet members.