Somali's Puntland state approves constitutionBy ABDULKADIR KHALIF in Mogadishu | Wednesday, April 18 2012 at 19:53
Somali's breakaway state of Puntland is on the verge of adopting a new constitution
A constituent assembly made of 480 delegates from various districts of the semi-autonomous state in northeastern Somalia, approved the new constitution Wednesday.
Reports from the venue at Garowe, 1,000km northeast of Mogadishu, indicated that 472 delegates endorsed the draft constitution.
The new document will replace a provisional charter that the clans in the region agreed to in August 1998.
The delegates spent some four days debating the draft constitution.
Puntland President Abdurahman Mohamed Farole and a delegation from Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) led by Deputy Prime Minister Abdiwahab Ugas Hussein, graced the closing ceremony.
“The 139-article constitution is going to pave the way for multiparty system,” said Mr Mohamed Hassan Barre, the Chairman of Puntland’s Constitutional Committee.
The approval of the constitution comes just weeks before the TFG organised a Constituent Assembly in May to approve a draft constitution.
Puntland is the first pro-government authority in Somalia to formulate own constitution.
“Among other provisions, our constitution accommodates Somalia as a federal state,” remarked the Puntland Head of State.
While Puntland was in favour of a federal system, its neighbour to the west, Somaliland, advocated separatism and has been claiming independence from the rest of Somalia since 1991.
Mr Hussein stated that Puntland's constitution would complement the one being prepared for Somalia.
“There is no contradiction between the TFG’s and the Puntland’s constitutions,” remarked Mr Hussein.
He added that emerging states in Somalia would come up with sound constitutions.
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