Incoming Somali premier quits

BAIDOA, Somalia, Dec 24, 2008 (AFP) - A lawmaker whose appointment as prime minister was rejected by Somalia's parliament announced he was standing aside on Wednesday in a bid to end a political crisis in the war-torn nation.

Mohamoud Mohamed Guled told reporters that he had written a resignation letter to President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, saying he did not want to become an "obstacle" to dialogue between political rivals.

"After looking into the situation in the country I decided to resign as the prime minister of Somalia and I have given my resignation letter to his Excellency the president of Somalia," he said.

"I am paving the way for the continuation of dialogue between Somali leaders and I don't want to become an obstacle.

"I hope the president will accept my resignation and I will remain a member of parliament."

Guled was named prime minister by Yusuf last Tuesday after the president had sacked the incumbent Nur Hassan Hussein and his entire cabinet.

However his appointment was promptly rejected by parliament which passed an overwhelming vote of confidence in Hussein, plunging the country into further political turmoil.

The appointment also triggered criticism from neighboring countries with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, representing six East African countries, saying it would impose sanctions.

Source: AFP

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