Puntland Politicians Challenge Constitution in Supreme Court

Published: July 13, 2023
Guled Salah Barre

A group of politicians from Puntland, Somalia, have taken their case against the proposed amendment of the constitution to the Supreme Court. Led by former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Isse Awad, they voiced their concerns and objections regarding the government’s plans to alter the existing constitutional provisions.

The focus of the proposed changes lies in Article 46 of the constitution, which currently limits political parties to a maximum of three. The Puntland government aims to revise this article to allow for the formation of up to five political parties. To initiate the amendment process, the House of Representatives will soon convene to deliberate on this matter.

Guled Salah Barre, one of the politicians involved in the case, expressed his firm stance against the proposed amendments. Speaking after the submission of the case, Barre declared that altering the constitution at this time would be unlawful and could pose a threat to national security. He emphasized the importance of upholding the agreements made regarding the constitution, calling upon the constitutional court to intervene and halt the proceedings. Barre also appealed to President Deni to ensure the safeguarding of Puntland’s interests during this critical period.

The opening of the constitution for potential amendments has already had severe consequences. On June 20th, violent clashes erupted in Garowe, resulting in significant losses. Regrettably, no viable solution has been reached thus far, further underscoring the urgent need for resolution and stability.

Attempting to bridge the divide, former officials, including Abdiweli Ali Gas, former president of Puntland, and Omar Abdirashid, former prime minister of Somalia, have proposed an alternative plan to address the ongoing disagreement. Their suggestion involves temporarily suspending the contentious amendments rather than modifying the constitution itself. By pausing the amendment process, they aim to create a conducive environment for dialogue and negotiation, with the hope of reaching a consensus that can alleviate tensions and bring about a satisfactory resolution.

Keyse Adam
Horseed media