Puntland leader Deni vows to uphold popular vote amidst political opposition

Puntland President Saeed Abdullahi Deni declared on Saturday his firm commitment to conducting a popular vote, despite facing significant opposition from key political stakeholders within the semi-autonomous region of Puntland.

President Deni convened a meeting with leaders from various political parties to discuss the implementation of a peaceful one-man one-vote election, emphasizing his determination to pursue a democratic electoral process.

Politicians who opposed his plans opted not to attend the meeting, reflecting the contentious nature of the issue at hand.

The crux of the disagreement lies in the differing perspectives on the appropriate electoral model for Puntland.

While some advocate for maintaining the traditional regional electoral framework, which involved clan leaders selecting members of parliament who, in turn, would elect the president, President Deni firmly advocates for universal suffrage. He believes that allowing the broader population to directly participate in the electoral process is essential for fostering a more inclusive and representative government.

Those advocating for the traditional regional electoral model argue that it has served Puntland well in the past, providing stability and representation for the diverse clans within the region. However, President Deni maintains that embracing a popular vote will foster greater transparency, accountability, and legitimacy in the electoral process, ultimately strengthening Puntland’s democratic institutions.

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