Garowe(Mogadishu24)-Puntland State Administration has on Friday made a statement about the recent amendments to the constitution, which were passed by the Parliament on Tuesday, as well as potential term extension for President Said Abdullahi Deni.

The State Minister of Information, Mohamud Aidi Dirir, held a press conference at his office to talk about the current situation of the government and the plan to extend the term of President Deni.

The Minister Dirir stated that decisions about elections are only with the electoral commission and are not influenced by the president or the parliament.

“There were competitive elections, and political parties have been duly presented according to the seats they have earned. The electoral commission, with its independent role, will make key election decisions without interference from any party,” he stated.

The Minister refrained from providing any information about the extension of term, reverting the question to the electoral commission once it is appointed. He pointed out that the new electoral reforms, which transformed the system to one-person-one-vote, will give the public to elect their preferred candidates.

Further, the State Minister reiterated his support to President Deni labelling him as a ‘king’ and urged the public to refrain from spreading baseless information, particularly the extension of the president’s term.

The Minister’s address came two days after the Parliament approved several amendments to Puntland State’s constitution, involving changes to its electoral system.

However, the approved amendments have met strong opposition from the Puntland Politicians Forum comprising of various politicians from the opposition parties, claiming that the President bribed the Parliament to approve the amendments which favour him.

“It is very unfortunate that the members of parliament were bribed to pass these amendments that favour the outgoing president. They were given money within the parliamentary building,” said Hassan Shire Abdi, Puntland State’s former minister of finance .

Despite these developments, Puntland State is preparing for its first-ever democratic presidential elections under the “one person, one vote” system, on January 8, 2024.

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