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Puntland’s decision on Gulf Crisis based on personal interests-former lawmaker

Storyline:National News
Puntland President Abdiweli Gaas (R) addressing a media conference in a past function. Photo: courtesy

A former lawmaker has termed the decision by Puntland to align itself with Saudi Arabia contrary to the Federal Government’s neutral position a violation of the constitution and based on personal interests.

Dahir Iro said the Federal Government is the only institution of the state which can make decisions regarding foreign affairs noting Puntland’s president Abdiweli Gaas’ decision amounted to interference of the work of the Federal government.

“This is a new phenomenon in the Somali political arena and the proposal of President Gaas appears to be inclining on his personal interest but not an overall Somali interest. It is a common thing that policies on foreign affairs belong to the central government. As a result, Puntland politicians and the diverse civil society regard the interference of President Gaas a mistake,” said Iro.

“The final word will be reached by the central government on investments and economic growth expansions in the country according to the Somali constitution. We are still a weak nation and the regional states have less powers in this field” said Iro.

The former lawmaker who served during the period of the Transitional Federal Government between 2005 and 2012 said though the Federal Government was not fully capable of supporting regional administrations, any decisions by the state presidents should not be arrived at the expense of the constitution.

Puntland announced this past week it was breaking ranks with the Federal Government and align itself with Saudi Arabia in the ongoing Gulf Crisis which Somalia has maintained a neutral stand on.

In early June 2017 Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain said they are severing diplomatic relations with Qatar on supporting terrorist organization among other accusations, a claim Qatari government denied.