Somalia’s Puntland Stands Firm, Rejects Federal Government Amid Constitutional Disputes

Somalia's Puntland Stands Firm, Rejects Federal Government
Somalia's Puntland Cuts Ties with Central Government | Shabelle Media Network

Somalia’s Puntland Stands Firm, Rejects Federal Government Amid Constitutional Disputes

BOSASO, March 31 (Reuters) – Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland announced on Sunday its withdrawal from the country’s federal system. It stated that it would govern itself independently until constitutional amendments, recently passed by the central government, are approved in a nationwide referendum.

The federal parliament in Mogadishu approved several constitutional changes on Saturday, deemed necessary by the government to establish a stable political system.

Critics argue that these changes, which include the introduction of direct presidential elections and granting the president the authority to appoint a prime minister without parliamentary approval, centralize power in the hands of the executive.

“Puntland will act independently until there is a federal government with a constitution that is agreed upon by a referendum in which Puntland takes part,” stated the state’s council of ministers in a statement.

This development presents another challenge for President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who is already grappling with ending an al Qaeda-linked insurgency, combating a resurgence in piracy, and asserting federal authority over the breakaway region of Somaliland following its agreement to lease a port to Ethiopia.

Puntland’s decision to withdraw from the federal system underscores the ongoing political tensions within Somalia. The country has been struggling with internal conflicts, security challenges, and governance issues for years.

The move by Puntland reflects the broader debate over the balance of power between the federal government and regional administrations. It highlights the complexities of Somalia’s political landscape and the challenges of building a cohesive and effective government.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud now faces the daunting task of addressing Puntland’s grievances and finding a way to reconcile the differences between the central government and the semi-autonomous regions. The outcome of this dispute will have significant implications for Somalia’s stability and future trajectory.

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