The United Nations top political official for Somalia today welcomed the endorsement by the East African country’s Parliament of the new Prime Minister, Abdi Farah Shirdon, stressing that it signals an encouraging start of cooperation between two important arms of the Government.
“The approval of Prime Minister Shirdon by the Somali legislature is further incontrovertible evidence of progress in Somalia,” said the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga.
“The United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) recognizes that by approving the new Prime Minister the Federal Parliament has cast a vote of confidence in the new leadership,” he added in a news release from UNPOS, which he also heads.
Mr. Shirdon was endorsed by all of the 215 members of Parliament present at their meeting today.
After decades of factional fighting and lawlessness, the Horn of Africa country has been undergoing a peace and national reconciliation process, with a series of landmark steps in recent months that have helped to bring an end to the country’s eight-year political transition period. These steps included the adoption of a Provisional Constitution, the establishment of a new Parliament and the selection of a new President.
“I call on the new Prime Minister to appoint without delay a new council of ministers. There is much to do and little time to waste,” Mr. Mahiga added.
In the news release, UNPOS noted that Mr. Mahiga pledged to work in partnership with the new Prime Minister and his new Government on Somalia’s new priorities and urgent needs as expressed in the six pillars outlined by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
According to comments made by a Somali representative to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, President Mohamud’s six pillar policy aims to secure progress in the areas of stability, economic recovery, peacebuilding, service delivery, international relations and unity.