Puntland opposition groups have accused the regional President, Said Abdullahi Deni, of failing to lead the state toward a stable consensus governance system.
In a statement released yesterday, the politicians emphasized that Said Deni’s political ambitions have resulted in security and political uncertainty. They assert that the constitution has been unlawfully amended and that the parliament has usurped the constitutional court’s powers.
“The local government elections have divided the community, while political organizations have remained in conflict and allegations of fraud persist,” the statement reads.
The Puntland political forum has additionally accused President Deni of diverting the salaries of the army and government employees for political campaigns, raising concerns about the security situation in Puntland.
“We are calling for an urgent meeting to address the current situation in Puntland, as President Deni has veered away from the democratization process,” the statement continues.
In August, Said Abdullahi Deni pledged that multi-party elections would take place on January 8, 2024, in Puntland, after opposition politicians threatened to unilaterally hold elections if Deni failed to conduct a consensus election early next year.
However, in May this year, the Puntland regional state conducted its first democratic local elections since 1967.
A total of 3,775 candidates from seven political parties, including the ruling Kaah party, competed for 774 seats in elections on May 25. The three organizations that secured the most seats in the local council parliament were Kaah, Mideeye, and Sincad. While more than 385,000 voters were registered for the elections, only 177,445 cast their votes.
The opposition’s accusations come when President Deni has been abroad for over a month, with his last trip to the United Arab Emirates in mid-August.