Somali PM names new ministers 2008-08-04 04:35:58   Print

    MOGADISHU, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein on Sunday named six ministers to fill in the post vacated by the ministers who resigned from his cabinet Saturday over his sacking of the mayor of Mogadishu.

    Speaking at a brief press conference at his office in Mogadishu the Prime Minister read out the names of the new ministers who will occupy the portfolios of ministries of Health, Education and Culture, Labor and social affairs, Reconciliation and Federal Affairs, Women Development and Family Affairs , Forest and Husbandry.

    "We will name the remaining ministers after we complete the consultations with the people as to the best person to fill in those positions," Hussein told reporters.

    Eleven ministers in the Somali transitional government collectively resigned from their posts Saturday after accusing the Prime Minister of sacking the mayor of Mogadishu without consulting them. They also alleged that the prime minister misused state funds and has gone against the national charter.

    The Prime Minister dismissed the allegations saying they are designed to undermine the peace agreement his government reached with a major faction in the opposition.

    Hussien has dismissed the mayor of Mogadishu, a close ally of President Abdullah Yusuf, last Tuesday on the grounds of embezzlement, incompetence, insubordination and abuse of power. Habeeb has refused to leave office, saying he has the official endorsement of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, who he said has the final say in his sacking.

    The president has not so far commented on the mayor's dismissal, but some reports said he is not pleased with it and there were also other reports saying he has reinstated the mayor in a letter the mayor said he received from the President on Aug. 1.

    It is not clear if Prime minister will ask the national parliament to endorse his newly appointed ministers. Some lawmakers have reportedly been petitioning to oust Hussein for lack of competence.

    There has reportedly been a growing rift between the Somali president and the prime minister recently over a wide range of issues including the national reconciliation.

    Nearly 20 people mostly women were killed and nearly fifty others injured in a bomb explosion Mogadishu early on Sunday. The women were street cleaners who were preparing to start work on a street in the north of Mogadishu when the blast occurred. Insurgents said they were not responsible for the explosion. 

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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