By T. Roble
Acting Prime Minister Mahdi Gulaid has formally handed over office to the new PM Mohamed Roble dealing a blow to ex-PM Hassan Khaire who had sought to be the man of the moment.
Gulaid who has been in acting capacity for about 60 days handed over the instruments of office to the new Prime Minister in a brief ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister.
Hopes of Khaire to be granted the opportunity to oversee transfer of power to his predecessor hit a brick wall after the transition committee stuck with Gulaid.
Immediate former Sports and Youth Minister Khadija Diriye and once a close ally of Khaire earlier dismissed his former bosses’ request noting in a Facebook post Gulaid would be the only man tasked with the handover. Diriye was part of the transition committee.
Khaire was shown the door by parliament on July 25 by the Lower House after what sources said was a ‘irredeemable’ relationship with his boss President Mohamed Farmaajo. Khaire’s Waterloo happened in Dhusamareb during negotiations with Federal Member State Presidents on the Electoral formula. The ex-powerful PM had reportedly overshadowed his boss in the talks inviting the last blow which sent him home.
Roble will now move ahead to appoint a new cabinet which will serve for barely five months before heading home too as Farmaajo’s time in office folds by February. The new PM whose stint in power will be expected to be least controversial and largely apolitical will be charged with implementing the recently approved Electoral Model which envisages the election of new lawmakers from November.
To start with, his cabinet will need to appoint a temporary federal elections team which will work with its counterparts at the Federal Member State level to oversee the elections.
The new PM will also be moving swiftly to engage with the international community to address existing challenges which include desert locust invasion, effect of floods and the COVID19 pandemic.
Security will still be a major headache for the new PM especially as the country heads to elections. Unlike in the 2016 round where 14,000 voters participated in the election of new MPs, this year’s election will see a double of that with close to 30,000 delegates casting their vote.
This logistical hurdle coupled with the threat of the militant group Al-Shabaab in some of the regions present a tough test which calls for concerted efforts between the Somali Security Forces, African Union Forces (AMISOM) and other international partners.