Somalia's P.M. should exercise his constitutional executive powers or lose respect - Mr. Ghedi is the key for success or failure of the new government

By A. Dirshe

Toronto - Article 48 of the new transitional federal constitution of Somalia stipulates the responsibilities of the Prime Minister. It charges the Prime Minister to set the policies and the general administration of the government. This means that the Prime Minister is in charge to set the direction and the tone of the new government for the next four years.

This involves initiating new programs and policies, which would give the Somali people and the world the map of where the new government is heading. This would also send a message to the international investors, regional powers and our neighbours of the intentions of the new government.

Mr. Ghedi has not shown a leadership in this regard so far. Knowingly or unknowingly the president, Mr. Yussuf is playing the role of the prime Minister. He has attended all the major international meetings thus far, where major issues concerning Somalia's future were discussed. Article 44 of the new transitional federal constitution of Somalia recognizes the role of the President in regards to policy and government administration and will only act on the proposal of the council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.

Somalis who know Mr. Yussuf believe he does not respect rules and regulations. He knows his role under the constitution and since there are no checks and balances in the new government, he is knowingly breaking the law. His reckless behavior is jeopardizing the hope of Somalis to have a stable government. He has allowed Ethiopia to create animosity towards Somalia in the Arab world by blindly executing their policies.

His narrow ambition to stay in power will cost all Somalis a hefty price. Somalia's reputation in the world is tarnished by this warlord's shameful obedience to Ethiopia's interest. Mr. Ghedi must act now.

The Somali intellectuals around the world were hopeful that the Prime Minister, Mr. Ghedi, because of his educational background, lack of political negative background, was more than capable of sending the right message to the masses and the international community.

Unlike the president, the Prime Minister enjoys a sizable support in Somalia, especially the capital of city of Somalia, Mogadishu. But he runs the risk of being seen as weak and unsure of his position.

He must show a strong leadership and be proactive in setting the agenda of the government. He must use all of his political capital and take advantage of this momentum and take charge before it is too late.