December 06, 2014

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Somalia’s parliament voted to oust the country’s prime minister on Saturday, capping a long feud between the president and prime minister, an official said.

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari said 153 members voted to oust Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed from office. Eighty members voted for him to stay. The vote took place after several recent rowdy sessions of parliament over the issue. Legislators who supported Ahmed heckled those who voted him out.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud had a falling out with Ahmed and wanted him to vacate his office. Ahmed said he accepted the vote but said he had been diligent in executing his constitutional mandate.

“We must eradicate a culture of impunity, disregard for the law and corruption if Somalia is to make meaningful progress. My administration has been relentless in our pursuit for reform and we leave a solid foundation that carries the hopes and aspirations of all Somalis,” Ahmed said in a statement.

The United States and the U.N., among others, have warned that the political infighting in Somalia is putting at risk the recent security gains made in the country. Nicholas Kay, the U.N. representative to Somalia, said the country needs “unity of political purpose” between its institutions and leaders “and a significant period of stability.” He said leaders need to prevent such political crises and instability in the future.

Security has improved in Somalia in recent years but the federal government remains weak and ineffective and wields little power outside the capital Mogadishu. A recent U.N. Monitoring Group report on Somalia said significant amounts of the federal budget are siphoned off through corruption.