A delegation led by former Somali Prime Ministers Abdiweli Gaas and Omar Abdirashid arrived in Garowe, the administrative capital of Puntland State today. The purpose of their arrival is to participate in efforts to quell the election-related dispute that resulted in the loss of more than 20 lives earlier this month.
The former Prime Ministers joined other traditional elders who recently arrived in Garowe to engage in talks between the opposition and the regional administration.
Omar Abdirashid expressed their determination to break the deadlock, stating, “We are committed to resolving this impasse. The initial election was conducted commendably, and we hope the remaining issues will be resolved satisfactorily.”
Both Abdiweli Gaas and Omar Abdirashid are known for opposing measures that could lead to term extensions for regional leaders. They have each publicly cautioned President Deni against taking any actions that may jeopardize the unity of Puntland.
In May, Puntland successfully conducted its first local one-person, one-vote elections in over half a century outside of the unrecognized breakaway region of Somaliland, which considers itself an independent republic.
A total of 3,775 candidates from seven political parties, including the ruling Kaah party, competed for 774 seats in the local council elections held on May 25th.
However, some powerful politicians and members of the Puntland opposition groups in the Nugal region in Puntland had boycotted the polling, forcing the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission to postpone polls in three of the region’s 33 districts, including the state provincial capital, Garowe.