Defense Minister quits; joins the race for Lower House Speaker

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Somalia’s recently-appointed Defense Minister, Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman, has announced that he will resign to contest for the post of Lower House Speaker vacated by Mohamed Osman Jawari. The latest resignation brings the total number of cabinet ministers quitting for their shot at Speaker to four.

The registration deadline for applicants vying for the seats will close at the end of the working day on Tuesday. Electoral rules dictate that candidates who currently hold a ministerial post must resign before contesting for the position. Elections for the hotly-contested seat is slated for April 30th.

By the end of Monday, Trade and Industry Minister, Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed; Water and Energy Minister, Salim Ibrow; and the Deputy Minister for Post and Telecommunication, Issaq Yarow, quit their posts to throw their hat in the race for Lower House Speaker.

Abdirahman’s resume boasts both diplomatic and cabinet minister positions. He served as the Water and Energy Minister under Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke’s administration and was also Somalia’s ambassador to Turkey in 2011.

Abdirahman was tapped by Prime Minister Khaire last November to be the Defense Minister following the abrupt dual resignations of former defense minister, Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed, and the army chief, General Mohamed Ahmed Jimale in early October.

Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman served as the Defense Minister for just under six months.