Power Struggle in Puntland Might Affect Somalia’s Presidential Elections

Garowe (PP News Desk) — When Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni returned from Mogadishu one month ago after signing the electoral agreement he had resolved to decide the selection process for federal MPs and Senators from Puntland. That plan seems to have hit an unexpected snag.

President Deni’s plan has hit a snag.

On July 4th 2021 Puntland State Parliament voted favourably on a bill that will make the removal of the Parliamentary Speaker – more difficult undertaking for the executive branch of Puntland. Two-thirds of MPs can unseat the Speaker, the same number of MPs that Puntland President or Vice President should win to avoid a Vote of No Confidence.

Disagreements over the selection of MPs and Senators have trigged the apparent power struggle. Abdirashid Yusuf Jibril, Puntland Parliamentary Speaker, seeks to have the ultimate decision on MPs and Senators from Wasangali whereas Ahmed Elmi, Puntland Vice President, insists on overseeing the selection process for MPs and Senators from Dhulbahante constituencies.

Abdirashid Jibril asserted his powers through a new parliamentary law passed last week.

This challenge to President’s Demi’s privilege to sign off the list of federal MPs and Senators from disputed territories might affect Somalia’s presidential elections schedule. President Deni has promised his allies in Mogadishu, notably the former President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, to instruct prospective MPs and Senators from Puntland to vote for him en masse.

“Now President Deni has got to count on fewer MPs and Senators who may vote for his ally and former boss” said a political analyst in Garowe.

Puntland Vice President Ahmed Elmi claims to have the last word on the selection process for MPs and Senators from Sool and ‘Ayn.

Other contenders lurking in the background include Ahmed Isse Awad, the former Foreign Minister, who is discreetly canvassing votes for Hassan Ali Kheire, the former Somalia Prime Minister.

“Villa Somalia stands to benefit from the power struggle in Garowe. President Deni might accuse the Federal Government of Somalia of interfering in the electoral process, but without evidence such accusation will not stick” added the political analyst.

© Puntland Post, 2021