The African Union (AU) special representative to Somalia Mahamet Saleh Annadif Monday welcomed the appointment of the Horn of Africa nation's new Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed.
The head of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) congratulated the new prime minister following his nomination Dec 12 by President Hassan Sheikh Mohammud.
"I applaud the move by President Hassan Sheikh Mohammud to fast track the appointment of a new prime minister thereby avoiding leadership vacuum. The position of the prime minister is very crucial in the running of the Federal Government especially at this critical point in Somalia's political process," Annadif said in a statement.
The appointment came after the outgoing prime minister was ousted by parliament following a rift with President Hassan.
The AU official said that the appointment came at the right time to avoid creating "a leadership vacuum" adding that the Prime Minister-designate "has what it takes to run the office of prime minister for Somalia" and that he will be able to "propel the country during this critical political process to the future".
The Somali lawmakers will soon vote on whether to approve the appointment of the prime minister-designate before he can form a government that will have to seek the confidence of the parliament.
The AMISOM top official expressed optimism that Somali lawmakers "will move with speed to approve the nomination" of the newly-appointed prime minister.
Annadif reiterated the commitment of the AU peacekeeping mission to Somalia to support the government and promised to work with the country's new prime minister.