The mayor of Somalia’ s capital has publicly rejected an idea suggested by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Abdisalam that new regional governments built on community consensus will be established across the country.
Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed “Dheere” Omar, who is also the governor of Banadir region, told a Somali radio station Sunday that the Deputy Prime Minister’s remarks are misplaced.
“Ahmed Abdisalam has no business in the establishment of a Banadir regional government and he should stick to his Ministry [of Information],” Mayor Mohamed Dheere said angrily.
Mr. Mohamed Dheere said he welcomes the idea of holding elections for the post of Banadir governor, which he said he has high hopes of winning.
But Mogadishu’s mayor said the Deputy Prime Minister should first establish an administration for his home region in Dhusamareb in central Somalia before discussing political issues in Banadir, which is located in the south of the country.
Somalia’s transitional government has routinely appointed regional governors from Mogadishu, but some of the appointed governors faced local disapproval.
In Hiran and Gedo regions, for example, government-appointed governors were either chased out by Islamist insurgents, as was the case in Hiran region, or defeated in a community-based democratic gubernatorial election, as happened in Gedo region in April.
Last week, Deputy PM and Information Minister Abdisalam told a crowd of journalists in Mogadishu that the transitional government is in the process of creating regional administrations that enjoy popular support among locals.
The region of Banadir, where Mogadishu is located, is first in line for the transitional government’s plans to replace existing governors with rulers supported by the local community, according to Mr. Abdisalam.