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Embattled Somali PM refuses to resign
by Middle East Online (reposted)
Thursday Aug 3rd, 2006 9:56 AM
Gedi is consulting with MPs who support him, clan elders to replace 37 ministers who have quit cabinet.
BAIDOA, Somalia - Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi on Thursday refused to resign despite a mass exodus of cabinet ministers and mounting criticism over the deployment of Ethiopian troops to protect his feeble 18-month-old administration.

Government spokesman Abdirahman Mohamed Nur Dinari said Gedi was instead working to replace the 37 ministers who have quit the 102-member cabinet in the past week calling for Gedi's resignation, even after he escaped a vote of no confidence over the weekend.

"The prime minister is not going to resign. Instead he is consulting with the MPs who support him and clan elders to replace the ministers who have quit," Dinari said from the government's temporary base in Baidoa, about 250 kilometres (155 miles) northwest of Mogadishu.

"There is no legal basis for the prime minister to resign," he added.

State Minister for Defence Ali Mohamed Hareed said he had resigned, bringing number of those who left the government to 37.

Dinari spoke as Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and parliament speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden held private consultations after they disagreed with Gedi on whether to engage the Islamic militia in peace talks.


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