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Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke
عمر عبد الرشيد علي شرماركي

Incumbent
Assumed office 
14 February 2009
President Sharif Ahmed
Preceded by Nur Hassan Hussein

Born 18 June 1960
Mogadishu, Somalia
Political party TFG
Religion Islam

Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke (Somali: Cumar Cabdirashiid Cali Sharmaarke, Arabic: عمر عبد الرشيد علي شرماركي‎) (born June 18, 1960) is a Somali diplomat and politician. He is the current Prime Minister of Somalia.

Biography

Sharmake is the son of the former second President and first Prime Minister of Somalia, Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, who was assassinated in 1969,[1] and Ruqia Dahir Ali Boss, the daughter of a well-known Somali Islamic scholar from the Meheri clan.

He studied at Carleton University in Ottawa, where he obtained degrees in political science and political economy.[2] Although his family is based in Virginia in the United States, Shermarke holds both Somali and Canadian citizenship.[3]

He has worked in a diplomatic capacity for the United Nations in Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone,[2][4] and served as a political advisor on the Darfur conflict in Sudan.[3] Before becoming Prime Minister, Sharmarke was Somalia's ambassador-designate to the United States.[4]

Prime minister

On the February 13, 2009, the current President of Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, nominated Sharmarke to become Prime Minister at a meeting in Djibouti.[5] Sharmarke's nomination was widely welcomed, with a spokesman for the moderate Islamic Courts movement describing him as an "honest" man who should bring about "positive changes."[3]

Political analysts are also optimistic about the selection. It is seen as a successful attempt to shore up support for the Transitional Federal Government both among the diaspora and within the country. Sharmarke is considered someone who could potentially bridge the gap between the various groups currently competing for influence in Somalia, as he was based abroad and thus not tied to local politics.[6] Sharmarke's appointment is also seen by some analysts as an attempt to secure the favor of the large Darod clan, whose Majeerteen branch both Sharmarke and the outgoing President of Somalia, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, are members of.[2][6]

On February 14, lawmakers approved Sharmarke as Prime Minister with a vote of 414 in favour, 9 opposed and 2 not voting.[7]

In his acceptance speech, Sharmarke pledged to encourage reconciliation and to create unity in Somalia.[2] However, the Al-Shabaab Islamist insurgents who are currently waging war against the federal government, condemned his appointment,[8] with a spokesman for the group saying that "an unlawful camel never gives birth to lawful ones."[9]

On February 21, Radio Garowe reported that Prime Minister Sharmarke had selected a new Council of Ministers, reserving key posts for former opposition lawmakers. Before a meeting in Djibouti attended by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and a host of other Somali politicians and international observers, Sharmarke appointed Sheikh Abdulkadir Ali Omar, the Islamic Courts senior ground commander, as the Minister of Interior, and former parliament Speaker, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, as the new Minister of Finance. Sharmarke also appointed the scholar, Mohamed Abdi Gandhi, as Minister of Defense, and three women as Ministers of Health, Family Affairs, and Rural Development. The new Cabinet easily gained a parliamentary vote-of-confidence.[10][11] Sharmarke and the rest of the federal government then relocated from Djibouti to Mogadishu.[12]

References

  1. ^ "Canadian nominated to be Somali PM". The Globe and Mail. 2009-02-14. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090214.SOMALIA14/TPStory/International. Retrieved 2009-02-14.  
  2. ^ a b c d "Somali president names Sharmarke as new PM". Agence France-Presse. 2009-02-13. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h4xe0fp9mqSc4ueXeVWFk4G-uTkw. Retrieved 2009-02-14.  
  3. ^ a b c Slain Somali president's son named PM
  4. ^ a b "Sharmarke Chosen as PM in Somalia's National Unity Government". Voice of America. 2009-02-13. http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-02-13-voa18.cfm. Retrieved 2009-02-14.  
  5. ^ "Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke Set To Become PM Of Somalia". indiaserver.com. 2009-02-13. http://www.india-server.com/news/omar-abdirashid-ali-sharmarke-set-to-6151.html. Retrieved 2009-02-14.  
  6. ^ a b "Slain Somali president's son named PM". International Herald Tribune. 2009-02-13. http://www.iht.com/articles/reuters/2009/02/13/africa/OUKWD-UK-SOMALIA-CONFLICT.php. Retrieved 2009-02-14.  
  7. ^ "Somali: lawmakers unanimously approved Sharmarke as PM". Somaliweyn. 2009-02-14. http://www.somaliweyn.org/pages/news/Feb_09/14Feb21.html. Retrieved 2009-02-14.  
  8. ^ "New PM for Somalia". Television New Zealand. 2009-02-14. http://tvnz.co.nz/content/2486977. Retrieved 2009-02-14.  
  9. ^ Sharmarke named Somalia’s new PM - ArabNews
  10. ^ Somalia's new government dominated by former opposition members - Garowe Online
  11. ^ "Somali parliament endorses new cabinet". Xinhua News Agency. 2009-02-22. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/22/content_10868917.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-04.  
  12. ^ "Somali hardliners reject truce offer". Agence France-Presse. 2009-03-02. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j3-nh7xRPQg6ow8uGzNmbK3IDC8Q. Retrieved 2009-03-04.  
Political offices
Preceded by
Nur Hassan Hussein
Prime Minister of Somalia
2009–present
Incumbent
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