Friday, July 22, 2016

Puntland ruling clan's waning influence increases coup risk

(IHS Subscription)- Puntland ruling clan's waning influence increases coup risk, undermining Somalia's federalisation and threatening manufacturing, oil, telecoms contracts.

Puntland's parliament unanimously agreed on 20 July to repeal a decree by the semi-autonomous Somali state's president, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, that extended the terms of senior judges by five months.

The decision affects the Constitutional Court (Puntland's highest court) and the Judicial Services Commission, which includes the attorney-general and the chief judge of the Constitutional Court. The action by parliament follows Gaas's decision on 3 April to ratify Somalia's new "4.5" clan-based federal system of government, allegedly without consulting parliamentarians. Parliamentarians have accused Gaas of appointing allies from his Omar-Mohammoud sub-clan as senior judges and ministers. In doing so, parliamentarians alleged to Puntland media that the president has limited the political participation of rival clans, strengthened his influence over the award, alteration, and revocation of contracts, suppressed media dissent, and artificially inflated public expenditure.
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