President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has urged Puntland president Abdullahi Deni to prioritize the voices of the people of Puntland in the upcoming local government elections, following concerns of potential election manipulation.
In a direct criticism of Deni, Mohamud warned that failing to heed the people’s wishes could undo the progress made in the last two decades.
Puntland is scheduled to hold state-wide local government elections on May 24, after successful pilot elections in three districts last December.
Opposition politicians in Puntland have accused Deni of seeking to manipulate the elections to extend his stay in office.
Deni had previously severed ties with the Federal Government in January and skipped National Consultative Council meetings that bring together leaders from both federal and state levels.
The current Puntland administration led by Deni suspended cooperation with the federal government of Somalia over contentious issues, mainly related to personal interests, according to anonymous sources that spoke to Dalsan tv.
After Deni boycotted the most recent National Consultative Council [NCC] meeting held in Baidoa city in March 2023, the president of Somalia declared he would send three Federal Member State leaders to Garowe to “iron out emerging issues” with Puntland.
In recent weeks, hints of a Deni stay have been permeating the air. Due to the opposition’s withdrawal from the upcoming local elections, in which Deni wants to add more political formations in violation of the law, politicians from the Federal state have banded together against him.