Somalia: Expanding the state Parliament is unjust, says Puntland MP


GAROWE, Puntland- A state parliamentarian in northeastern region of Somalia, has talked about the recent controversial proposal to expand state’s 66-seats-chamber by Puntland President, Garowe Online reports.

Speaking to Radio Garowe (RG), MP Saed Abdi Samatar Sur’ad noted that many challenges and obstacles came along the way to establish the state following series of consultation among clan elders, politicians and civil society. he said that the adopted power-sharing formula in Puntland is distributed between provinces and not between clans.

“The 66 MPs hail from all provinces of Puntland regions, and It is true that some clans don’t have seats in the state Parliament but they are represented by other MPs in the same province,” added Sur’ad.   

He said that expanding the state Parliament at the moment without adhering to the constitutions doesn’t serve the interest of the region as the process of adding parliamentarians will not be conducted in fair manner.

Sur’ad noted that Puntland administration should focus on providing essential services and needed development to the region rather than meddling in the constitution.

He later warned against the controversial move and said it will lead to undesired consequence of clan conflicts and instability in the region. The MP noted that the constitution is the supreme law of each nation, and contains principles that rule state’s mandate and limiting government overreach.

Sur'ad revealed that Puntland administration has recently launched the multiparty system in the region, a process that will enable to transit from clan-based form of governance to democracy. "It is unfortunate that instead of moving forward to democratic system the current administration plans to still use the clan system of power-sharing model."

Asked about if the government is planning to extend its term by expanding the Parliament, he said; “I haven’t heard of this from any official, however, the government's term is 5 years.”

This comes amid public outrage against Puntland President’s plan to expand the Parliament. President Abdiwali Mohamed Ali "Gaas" was reported he sent a letter to the Parliament leadership requesting to open parliamentary session to deliberate the request to give additional 7 seats to allied clans.