Somalia: Puntland President grilled in Parliament
GAROWE, Puntland- President of Somalia’s northeastern region of Puntland has officially opened the 38th session of Puntland Parliament on Saturday, whereas the state’s 66-seats-chamber has grilled him over some of his government’s policies on various issues, Garowe Online reports.
During the session, President Ali addressed the Parliament and gave remarks on his government achievements on security, infrastructure, politics, economy, democracy and environmental protection in the region.
But following the deliberation, Puntland President faced tough questions from the MPs included his administration failure to pay overdue salaries to civil servants, occupied territories by neighboring Somaliland, and frequent international trips amid heightened tensions, endorsing Galmudug state formation yet not meeting constitutional conditions, lack of health care to injured soldiers and delayed democratization process.
The session saw President Ali answering some of the questions, whereas he dodged other questions for more deliberation in closed sessions with the Parliament.
When asked about lack of payments to civil servants and military forces, the President has responded that his government has faced tough period amid recurrent clashes and noted that his administration has covered entitlements, rations and military equipment for the security forces during that period.
On the issue of democratization process in Puntland, President Ali reiterated his promise to implement democratic election in the region, which was his core campaign promise during Puntland election. He further assured the parliament on government’s efforts to implement the process in the 2019 election.
Asked on his numerous overseas trips and government’s over budget spending, President Ali indicated that his trips were focused on the interests of Puntland region, while on the other side he dismissed claims that Presidential Palace has spent over $6 Million but reveled it had spent $90,000.
However, this Parliament session considered to be the toughest for President Ali since becoming President in January 2014. On last week, state parliamentarians have lamented to the rescheduling of Parliament sessions due to President Ali's recent trip to Bossaso city.