Somali PM’s Talks over election crisis With Puntland president Collapse


GAROWE, Puntland - Said Abdullahi Deni, the president of the federal state of Puntland, has continued to pile pressure on Mogadishu administration over emerging differences in the holding of Somalia's election, arguing that President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo should be blamed for the current impasse.

In a meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, Deni, who was part of the team that signed September pre-election pact, insisted that he will not appoint state-level elections committee until Mogadishu administration "honours what we agreed in our last meeting".

Roble, who took over from Hassan Ali Khaire in September, travelled to Puntland on Friday as part of the shuttle diplomacy to prevail upon the state to support the ongoing preparations for elections. He is in charge of the electoral exercise by the virtue of his position as Prime Minister.

But his trip seems to have failed to meet the objectives after sources revealed that the Federal State president demanded the federal government withdraws Somali National Army [SNA] troops Gedo region in Jubaland, a position held by Ahmed Madobe, who is the regional leader of the state.

Madobe who is a close ally of Deni and both of whom remain staunch opponents of the Federal Government has repeatedly urged President Mohamed Farmaajo to pull out troops from Gedo region failure tow which elections will not take place there.

Also, Deni is said to have asked the federal government to allow Somaliland to constitute its own electoral committee. President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo had picked members of the committee from Somaliland, a move that has been rejected by Senate Speaker Abdi Hashi, who is the senior-most leader in the federal government from the secessionist region.

The opposition and civil society groups have also demanded that the president dissolves the Federal Indirect Elections Team [FIET] on grounds that he appointed security officials and senior civil servants.

The state-level elections and parliamentary polls were scheduled for this month. Several opposition leaders and state presidents including Deni himself have been singled out for violating rules on the independence of the poll committee by appointing cronies.

They insist that the current electoral committee as constituted consists of NISA agents, Farmajo's loyalists and civil servants. Only Jubbaland and Puntland are yet to appoint their respective electoral committees.

The international community is pushing for timely elections but the opposition teams maintain that a consensus must be reached before the polls are held, something which has resulted to the current quagmire.


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