Somalia: The controversial document was misinterpreted, says Puntland VP


GAROWE, Puntland- The Vice President of northeastern region of Puntland, Abdihakim Abdualhi Haji Omar, has downplayed recent reports that he endorsed parliamentary seats increase for Somaliland community in the Federal Parliament, as some argued the move contradicted with state constitution, Garowe Online reports.

Earlier, GO has published a report indicating that Vice President along with Puntland parliamentarian and Livestock Minister have co-signed a letter with politicians and elders hailing from Somaliland, requesting from the Somali leaders and international community to allocate more seats for Somaliland according to the power-sharing agreement between northern and southern regions of Somalia in 1960.

The controversial document has caused stir in Puntland region, as some indicated it undermined the territorial sovereignty of Puntalnd in the disputed regions.  

The document has emphasized on allocating 33-percent quota in the Upper House chamber for clans hailing from Somaliland regions.

Omar has stated previously before his departure to Mogadishu that his visit will focus to ensure that seats from disputed areas are reserved for parliamentary candidates who hail from Puntland. 

During this month, VP Omar held meetings with the Somali leaders and representatives from the international partners following standoff over distribution of Upper House seats for Somaliland community and particularly for seats from contested regions of Sool, Sanag and Ayn.    

But according to a recent communiqué released by National Leadership Forum, Somali leaders agreed to expand the Lowe House chamber with additional 18 seats distributed among Federal member states.  

However, Vice President Omar has arrived back to the state capital of Garowe on Monday amid increased criticism for endorsing Somaliland politicians and elders, as both states lacked political or mutual relations.

Following his arrival, Omar held a press conference and denied that he signed a document that challenged Puntland constitution and claimed an interest group was behind the reports.  

Instead, Omar said he endorsed efforts to reunite the country and to ensure fair representation for misrepresented clans in the Federal Parliament.  

So far it is unclear of the political outcome of the controversial document, as Puntland Parliament was blamed for failing to hold Puntland government accountable for its failed policies amid economical downfall and security deterioration of the region.