Somalia's Puntland President Deni Criticizes Illegitimacy of FMS Leaders' Term Extensions


GAROWE, Somalia - In his address at the closing of Puntland's government retreat conference, President Deni expressed his concerns regarding the illegitimacy of Federal Member State (FMS) leaders who have failed to conduct presidential elections while the federal government permits illegal term extensions for FMS leaders. The President emphasized that such actions undermine the rule of law and erode public trust in the political process.

"Extending terms year by year or arbitrarily means laws are broken, and people are left watching," President Deni stated, highlighting the importance of adhering to the electoral calendar and respecting the democratic process. He argued that the failure to hold timely elections not only undermines the legitimacy of the leaders in question but also hampers the development and progress of the regions they govern.

On the other hand, President Deni commended the people of Puntland for their commitment to respecting the presidential election timetable every five years. He noted that his administration honored the people's will by holding the election on time, which took place on 8 January 2024. This adherence to the electoral process, according to President Deni, is a testament to the strength of democracy in Puntland and serves as an example for other FMS leaders to follow.

President Deni's remarks come at a time when the issue of term extensions and the conduct of timely elections has become a topic of concern in the region. The President's call for adherence to the rule of law and the electoral calendar is a reminder of the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring that the will of the people is respected.

In conclusion, President Deni's address at the Puntland government retreat conference sheds light on the ongoing debate surrounding the legitimacy of FMS leaders and the need for timely and transparent elections. By emphasizing the importance of adhering to the electoral calendar and respecting the democratic process, President Deni has set a powerful example for other leaders in the region to follow.

In March this year, Puntland announced it cut off ties with the Somali government marking a significant turning point in the relationship between the Federal State in northeastern Somalia and the central government in Mogadishu. This move comes as a response to what Puntland perceives as unilateral constitutional changes by the federal government, which have been seen as a power grab and a threat to the federal system that Puntland helped to establish.

The rift between the two sides has been exacerbated by the federal government's actions, including the withholding of aid earmarked for Puntland and the politicization of development funds. As a result, Puntland has chosen to cooperate directly with UN agencies and pursue an independent path until a mutually acceptable federal government system is in place.


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