The Ethiopia’s Somali region gets new president

The new acting president has long been a vocal critic of Abdi Iley

Mustafa Muhumed Omer, 45, has been nominated as acting president of the Somali region until the next party congress in 2020, it was announced. The Ethiopian-Somali People’s Democratic Party (ESPDP)’s executive committee has elected him to be acting president in its meeting held today, BBC Amharic reported.

Mustafa had served as a humanitarian liaison officer for the United Nations in Mogadishu, Zimbabwe, the United Arab Emirates and Kenya. Prior to that, he held different positions in the Somali region until he was forced to flee.

Though Mustafa is not a member of ESPDP, the party’s rules and regulations permit him to be an interim president, Ahmed Abdi Mohamed “Ilkacase” who has been leading the region for the past two weeks said. Ilkacase had replaced the once-powerful president Abdi Mohamoud Omar (Abdi Iley) who was forced to step down after the intervention of the federal army. It was not disclosed why Ilkacase wouldn’t continue with the position but a political insider said there has been unresolved issues surrounding Ilkacase’s legitimacy, his closeness to Abdi Iley and internal party squabbles that have heightened the debate on the succession.

Analysts predict that Mustafa will set out to purge Abdi Illey’s factions and loyalists, and consolidate his own power in the region. There are already reports that indicate mayor of kebri Dahar and mayor of Gode have been removed from their post and the party’s membership.

Mustafa has also been elected deputy chairman of the party, second to the chairman, minister of government communications affairs office, Ahmed Shide. Read more...

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