Somalia's Puntland president Deni warned against term extension


GAROWE, Puntland - The Outgoing Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni has been warned against extending his term which is set to elapse in the next 13 months before the northeastern Federal state of Somalia goes for a presidential election, which is held every five years.

Ali Haji Warsame and Farah Ali Shire who served as Education and Finance ministers respectively have accused Deni of intending to hold a controversial local election and extend his mandate.

According to the ministers, who both ran for Puntland top job in 2019, claimed the president is camouflaging in three political associations from recently concluded local council elections to justify his alleged term extension.

"When we met with the President, we advised him to clear that he would not be going the extension. However, it is becoming clear that the government is on the wrong side and does not want to move together," said former education minister Ali Haji Warsame.

For Farah Ali Shire, the former Finance minister in the Federal state, Debi's unwillingness to strike consensus with other leaders, could trigger instability, which is said to be the most stable region in the Horn of Africa nation. He now says Deni should take responsibility for any eventuality.

Also, Former two-time Somalia PM Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke warned Deni against holding a controversial 1P1V local election with a process & roadmap not accepted by all stakeholders. He said this puts Puntland into further crisis. 

Their statements emerged just a day after registration awareness letters that were supposed to be delivered to different regions were burned in villages in the Nugal region. The state went to local elections last year which saw the opposition raise questions after voter fraud and corruption.

Puntland is expected to go for elections on January 8th, 2024 but local politicians are worried that the current leadership could emulate a number of states where regional assemblies have been used to extend terms for current leaders. Some of them include Jubaland, Galmudug, and Southwest.

Shire said the stalemate should be handled before things get out of control. President Said Deni, having previously failed in the first phase of the local election in three districts - Eyl, Ufeyn, and Qardho, now can't hold it in his critical time that his term expires in 13 months.

Several leading political associations voiced their opposition to Deni's attempt to hold a controversial One-Person-One-Vote local election. His attempts to extend his term could meet vicious resistance like in the case of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, the former president of Somalia.


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