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Somalia parliament approves new PM following constitutional dispute

The Somali parliament on Sunday voted 297-92 to approve [press release] new Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, after several delays due to a constitutional dispute over the confirmation procedure. Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed Sheikh Mahmud [official profile] had argued that due to the silence of the Somali Transitional Federal Charter [text, PDF] on confirmation procedures, Somalia's 1960 Constitution [text, PDF] must control, which states that all confirmations must be expressed by open vote. Speaker of Parliament Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden [BBC profile] disputed this, pushing for a secret ballot. Supporters of Abdullahi say he may have a better chance [AP report] than predecessors of controlling Islamist insurgents and pirates [JURIST news archive] the come from the country.

Last week, Transparency International (TI) [advocacy website] ranked Somalia [JURIST report] as the most corrupt country in the world in its 2010 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) [text, PDF]. In April, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] critized the violent and repressive conditions [JURIST report] in southern Somalia that have been implemented by the Islamist group al-Shabaab [CFR backgrounder]. Though the report found that portions of the country under al-Shabaab rule are more stable when compared to those under the control of Ahmend's Transitional Federal Government, that stability comes at a steep price including harsh punishments and executions without due process.

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