Somali Speaker Rejects Ouster Effort

Posted December 15th, 2011 at 9:20 am (UTC-5)
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The speaker of Somalia's parliament has rejected an effort to oust him from power, in the war-torn country's latest political crisis.

Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan spoke to VOA a day after fistfights broke out in parliament between his opponents and supporters.

On Tuesday, lawmakers opposed to Adan voted to remove him as speaker, by a reported tally of 280 to 3.

Adan told VOA Thursday that the vote had no legitimacy because he is out of the country, in Italy. He also saidThursday, December 15, 2011 the number of votes against him was much lower than reported.

Somalia's transitional government has been plagued by years of infighting that have held back efforts to stabilize the country, where the government is fighting al-Qaida-linked militants.

Adan's opponents complain he has refused to hold debates on a roadmap for Somalia's political future and a new constitution. The government's mandate runs out next August.

Wednesday's melee in parliament erupted as Adan's opponents attempted to elect a new speaker. Adan says he is heading back to Mogadishu to deal with the crisis.