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    In the middle of a confrontation with Deni, Puntland’s vice president shuffles his cabinet.

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    In a big upheaval on Wednesday, Puntland Vice President Ahmed Elmi Osman Karaash dismissed three key ministers amid a developing political impasse between the VP and regional president Said Abdullahi Deni.

    Mohamed Abdirahman Dhabanad was replaced as Interior Minister by Abdiqani Hashi Bumbo. Hassan Shire Abgal has been replaced as Finance Minister by Abdirizak Mire Hassan (Gawiido), while Abdisamad Gallan has been replaced as Security Minister by Ahmed Haji Ibrahim Bakiin.

    The three deposed ministers were powerful cabinet members and close associates of Puntland President Said Deni.

    On March 19, Said Deni declared his candidacy for Somali president, defying calls from legislators to resign and hand over control to his deputy.

    Last month, Said Deni invalidated any directives by Vice President Ahmed Karash. He urged all government agencies to carry out their duties and not comply with any decree inconsistent with the Constitution and other regulations of the Government Puntland as stated in Article 138, paragraph 2 of the Puntland Constitution.

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