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Somali lawmakers on Monday approved the Kampala Accord, an agreement aimed at ending political squabbles between the speaker and president, with 393 voting in favour, 36 against and seven abstentions.
The agreement saw speaker Sharif Hassan Aden withdraw his opposition to an election delay in exchange for the resignation of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo as prime minister and positions for his allies on a new cabinet.
Monday’s vote came after a rowdy session on Sunday, during which some lawmakers disrupted proceedings and condemned the agreement.
"The accord was meant to divide the people of Somalia and prevent Somalia from progressing," a MP who sought anonymity told Somalia Report.
The agreement sparked wide violent protests in Mogadishu, with many angry that the popular Farmajo was being forced out to accommodate the speaker’s political ambitions. Tensions quickly fell, however, and Farmajo was replaced with Abdiweli Mohamed Ali – who like his predecessor is a highly educated Somali-American.
Abdiweli has yet to name his cabinet amid reports of tricky negotiations and attempts by Aden to have the cabinet expanded to accommodate all of his appointees.
"Abdiweli is afraid of the speaker, who wants a good deal in the new administration that will see him place his allies in the cabinet,” Hassan Yare, a Mogadishu-based analyst, told Somalia Report.
President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, speaking at Sunday’s session, asked lawmakers to approve the accord and try to put the political battles behind them.
"I have urged Abdiweli to form a stable cabinet and instructed him to work jointly with parliament to avoid any further disagreement,” he said. “There is no point in wrangles and conflicts all the time. We have a short period of time and we need to wind up all the needed tasks before our time is up.”
Under the accord, elections of the president and speaker were postponed for twelve months from August 2011 to allow time to prepare – including improvements the security situation – and the completion of priority transitional administration tasks.
Constant political infighting been credited with hampering the battle against militant Islamist group al-Shabaab, which still holds much of southern and central Somalia despite waning popularity and military ability.