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Puntland withdraws recognition of Somali federal government following historic constitutional amendment

Saturday March 30, 2024

Puntland lawmakers cast their votes on a decisive motion to withdraw recognition of the Federal Government of Somalia, amid deepening constitutional disputes and calls for regional autonomy.

Mogadishu (HOL) - Puntland's regional administration announced on Sunday its decision to withdraw recognition of the Federal Government of Somalia, citing recent constitutional amendments as a breach of the federal pact that has historically united the country. The declaration from Puntland's capital, Garowe, follows changes to Somalia's constitution, approved by the Somali Federal Parliament, which have sparked political turmoil and concerns over national unity.

The crux of Puntland's grievance lies in the Federal Government's repeal of the 2012 Provisional Constitution and adoption of new laws that Puntland argues favour particular interests and threaten the federal structure. Puntland's government has repeatedly warned that such unilateral actions by the Federal Government jeopardize the country's unity and governance. The regional administration asserts that these changes violate the foundational agreements of Somalia's federal system, as outlined in the Transitional Federal Constitution and the Puntland State Constitution.

Puntland claims its stance is backed by constitutional provisions, including Article 142 of the Transitional Federal Constitution, which preserves the powers of pre-existing administrations until a harmonization of constitutions is achieved. Article 4 of the Puntland Constitution also empowers the region to reconsider its integration with the Federal Central Government, especially if the federal system is compromised.

The background to this crisis is Somalia's historic constitutional amendments, which have been a point of contention among various political stakeholders. The amendments, which alter the power dynamics between the president and the prime minister and introduce a multi-party system, have been perceived by Puntland and other critics as a move that could destabilize Somalia's federal arrangement. The changes, notably the increased powers of the president, have raised fears of a centralized authority undermining the autonomy of federal states like Puntland.

The amendments were part of a broader constitutional review aimed at addressing issues such as women's representation and freedom of expression, but they have inadvertently exacerbated a political divide. Despite the perceived lack of consensus among Somalia's federal states, Puntland's decision to withdraw recognition of the Federal Government was primarily motivated by the decision to implement these amendments.

In response, Puntland has declared its intent to operate independently until Somalia establishes a more inclusive and representative constitutional framework. 

Before Saturday's Somali Parliament vote, former presidents, prominent politicians, and Puntland State leaders strongly opposed President Mohamud's efforts to amend and review the constitution.




GAROWE, March 31, 2024

Today, March 31, 2024, an extraordinary meeting was held in Garowe, the capital of Puntland Government. The meeting was held on the action taken yesterday, March 30, 2024, by the Federal Government Councils to repeal the Constitution approved in Mogadishu in 2012, instead of this, the approved laws were enacted with a new constitution that has vested interests. The Puntland government has warned many times that if it is taken, it will harm the unity, government and unity of the Somali nation. The Puntland government believes that the decision of the Federal Councils yesterday has annulled the laws and agreements that protected the unity of the country based on the Federal system.

The Puntland government, based on it

1. Article 142 of the Transitional Federal Constitution, which states "until the time when all the constitutions of the member states of the Federal Government are harmonized with the Constitution of the Federal Government, the Administrations that existed before the adoption of the Temporary Constitution, retain the powers conferred by their constitutions",

2. Article 4 of the Constitution of the Puntland Government, paragraph 4, letters (b) and (t), which states "The Puntland Government is entitled to reconsider its integration with the Federal Central Government, if the Somalis They do not agree on a government structure that is not lower than the federal system, and prolong the instability and wars that are happening in other parts of Somalia.

3. Also referring to and implementing the decisions that came out of the general consultation conference of Puntland held in Garowe on March 17, 2020, Article 10 which was decided to

The government of Puntland can take any decision to save the fate and future of its nation that the Federal Constitution and Puntland allow and represent its people.

Therefore, the Puntland Government has reached the following decisions:

1) The Puntland government has lost the recognition and trust of the Federal Government agencies until a comprehensive constitutional system is found in Somalia, which Puntland is a part of.

2) According to the Puntland Constitution Article 4, Paragraph 3, the Puntland Government will have the power of a complete and independent government as long as there is a federal system of government, with an agreement, with a Somali constitution that is agreed upon, and a public referendum. which Puntland is a part of.
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3) In accordance with the basic article of the Constitution of the Federal Government of Somalia, Chapter 1, Article 1, Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 2 of the Basic Principles, written as follows: the people who claim the independence of the federal republic of somalia or use the constitution specifically" so Hassan sheikh Mohamud canceled the constitution that was agreed upon and he was elected and sworn in. So, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has lost the constitutional rights of the Presidency.

4) The Puntland government welcomes and cooperates with anyone who recognizes and practices the constitution of the agreement that was approved on August 1, 2012.

5) The Puntland government negotiates directly with the international community and international organizations on issues related to its interests.

6) This decision passed by the Government Council is presented to the House of Representatives of the Puntland Government.



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