Tuesday, 12 November 2013

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES AND THE FIRING OF PRIME MINISTER SAACID

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES AND THE FIRING OF PRIME MINISTER SAACID

By Faisal A. Roble
In a 1959 address, John F. Kennedy said:  “When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”  In the same vein, the crisis resulting from the embarrassing resignation of Yusur Abrar and the opportunities presented by the pending dismissal of Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon (Saacid) of Somalia present both danger and opportunities.
shirdonAs of November 11, 2013, credible reports are awash with information that President Hassan Sheikh has asked Prime Minister Saacid to resign from his post which the PM had occupied since November, 2012. This pending resignation was widely anticipated, and it is always better late than never.
If Prime Minister Saacid resigns as reported, and with him goes down his entire cabinet, this would be one of the most significant developments of direction in Hassan Shiekh’s one year old government.  If he refuses, to which the Prime Minister has every right, according to the Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC), then the decision shall be made by Parliament.  Constitutionally speaking, it is the Parliament that has the final say on this matter.
Mr. Saacid should not fight the President’s decision and should gracefully retire to his lush neighborhood in Nairobi, where his family owns a nice house.  He has not exercised the constitutional authority bestowed on his office and remained a lackey and subservient to a President who is grapping power more than his fair share per PFC. To say the least, he has disappointed thet nation that wanted an executive body where the PM runs the government, and the President remains no more than a ceremonial leader who sets the national vision for the country.  Both the President and the Prime Minister failed the nation.
As for the country, the purported change in the PM’s office comes at a time when the government in Mogadishu is faced with challenges and some potentially beneficial political issues.  Meandering through the labyrinths of danger and crisis depends on the political skill of President Hassan Sheikh’s.
Challenges
The most challenging issue the government is currently faced with is the sudden resignation of the former chief of the county’s central bank, Yusur Abrar.  In her resignation letter dated October 30, 2013, she alleged that relatives of the President who regularly conduct business in the Yusur Abrartattered capital city of Mogadishu had harassed her to release monies inappropriately.  She also claims that the President was well aware of her harassment by his relatives and seemed to condone.  There are also new rumors that the soon-to-be fired PM also harassed Ms. Abrar.
If not before, at least at the wake of selecting a new PM, the President must address Ms. Abrar’s resignation and clear the clouds surrounding her allegation.  Continued

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