Somalia: ​Puntland Parliament rejects expansion of state's assembly


GAROWE, Puntland- Lawmakers of Somalia’s semi-autonomous region have rejected a proposal to expand state’s 66-seats-chamber by Puntland government, Garowe Online reports.

After a week-long revelation about the controversial move, the parliamentarians fiercely opposed the increase of the Parliament seats and described President's expansion plan as unlawful.

Sources told GO that the decision came after legislators hailing from Nugal, Mudug, Sool, Sanaag and Buhoodle inked letter declining President's aim of giving additional seven seats for allied clans in the Parliament.

The MPs handed over their memo to the Parliament leadership, noting that many challenges and obstacles came along the way to establish Puntland in 1998 by clan elders, politicians and civil society.

They urged not to table President's request, indicating that it will cause constitutional crisis. "The lawmakers who hail from various provinces agreed that the letter of the President was against the state constitution," an MP who asked not to be named told GO.

Puntland President’s plan coincides with an intention by the state government to extend its term by expanding the Parliament seats from 66 to 73 MPs.

MP Saed Abdi Samatar Sur’ad has told GO early this week that The 66 MPs hail from all provinces of Puntland regions, and that some clans who don’t have seats in the state Parliament are represented by other MPs in the same province.