No-confidence motion sparks parliamentary row in Somalia
The speaker adjourned the session immediately after opening it, ignoring the commotion caused by lawmakers who opposed the proposed motion
A session of the Somali parliament ended abruptly on Monday following the distribution of a proposed motion to withdraw confidence from the government, which caused a row between rival MPs, according to parliamentary sources.
The draft motion was distributed to MPs before the speaker had arrived to parliament. Opposing MPs tore up the draft, however, in an effort to sow chaos before the session, which journalists were barred from attending.
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.