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Puntland MPs endorse controversial constitutional changes

Storyline:National News

GOOBJOOG NEWS|GAROWE: Puntland parliament has this morning overwhelmingly endorsed a proposal to review the state constitution despite stiff opposition and claims that the outgoing President Abdullahi Deni was bent on extending his term in office through constitutional changes.

Out of 60 MPs present in the House today, 54 voted in favour of the amendment while only six filed a contrarian opinion. Puntland state parliament comprises 66 MPs representing various clans in the state.

The vote comes amid simmering tensions in Puntland which boiled over into violence in June resulting in the death of about 30 people.

The opposition has opposed the changes and called on President Deni to defer the review process until after the presidential elections on January 9 when his term expires. The opposition has variously accused Deni of seeking a term extension through the review process following in the footsteps of his Jubaland, Galmudug and South West states counterparts who have since secured between one and two years added stay in office.