October 6, 2012 / 1:27 PM / in 5 years

Somali president names political newcomer as PM -diplomats

MOGADISHU, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has named Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid as the country’s new prime minister, diplomats and a government source said, the first major decision by an administration installed after over 20 years of conflict.

Saaid, a political newcomer, has been a prominent businessman in neighbouring Kenya and is married to Asha Haji Elmi, an influential Somali peace activist.

Mohamud, a former academic and a political newcomer himself, was elected president in a secret ballot on Sept. 10, a result hailed by his supporters as a vote for change in the Horn of Africa state ravaged by war and anarchy since 1991.

Reporting by Abdi Sheikh in Mogadishu and Drazen Jorgic in Nairobi; Writing by Drazen Jorgic

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