As Puntland Ministry of Interior annuls the competing Bossaso City Councils and the subsequent elections of two mayors by the two competing political parties of Mideeye and SINCAD, President Deni’s is said to be fully involved and in the middle of this highly damaging controversy.
Two signs are said to be directly pointing towards President Deni. The first one is the use of Puntland security forces, the PMPF, to bless and protect the crowning of Mr. Abdifatah Shanle, the SINCAD ‘elected mayor’ over the parallelly ‘elected mayor’ of Mideeye Political Party. Without President Deni’s express approval, PMPF forces couldn’t have been used to warden off major Bossaso junctions to the City Hall. The second one is that key Puntland cabinet ministers close to President Deni, the Justice and the Finance ministers, have individually approved the election of the SINCAD Mayor, while willfully ignoring the annulment of both elections by the Interior Ministry.
Ismail Haji Warsame in an OpEd on Warsame Digital Media (WDM) expressed heightened worry that Puntland’s transition to democracy might be hanging by a thin thread. In an editorial titled “Time is running out for Puntland State general democratic elections with no sure sign of holding them any time soon,” Mr. Warsame is highly concerned about rampant speculations that all President Deni wants is an extension and not an election. He writes, “if these speculations were proved right, it would constitute historic miscalculation by the Regime.”
On President Deni and his prolonged absence from Puntland, for “private mission with no obvious interests for the state and its residents,” Mr. Warsame equates as “tantamount to dereliction of duty” at a crucial time the President was expected to campaign for Puntland’s transition to democracy.
Disappointed at the latest events in Bossaso and lack of response by President Deni, Mr. Warsame leans towards the opposition and suspects that their suspicions about President Deni could be proven right. He continues by asking, “is there any time left to salvage the situation? Many anticipate a disaster if administration could try to buy more time to stay in power. We are afraid that Puntland State is set to sail on troubled waters, again, not taking any cues from recent troubling history of Puntland State democratization process.”
Since yesterday’s troubling parallel elections in Bossaso and the unexpected subsequent involvement by Puntland security forces and allies of President Deni to crown one mayor over another, and then to ice the cake, silently overriding the objections of the Ministry of Interior, all signs seem to be pointing out not towards a smooth democratic transition but to a troubled one.
Daljir Media | Contributed to by Daljir Bossaso and Daljir Garoowe staff members