Puntland President Saeed Abdullahi Deni is in an undisclosed election campaign, seeking the presidency of Somalia.
Although Deni has not yet officially announced his intentions, he is taking steps to make it clear that he intends to take over the seat currently held by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
The reason Deni has not yet announced his candidacy for the presidency is that it could cast doubt on his neutrality in the election of members of the Upper House and the House of Representatives under his administration.
However, Deni is making efforts to gain support for his election campaign, and to ensure the production of loyal MPs who vote for him.
Deni’s plan is for a majority of lawmakers from Jubaland and Puntland to support him, as the elections will be run by him and his friend Ahmed Madobe.
Many reports say that Saeed Abdullahi Deni talked to his Jubaland counterpart Ahmed Madobe to work for credible parliamentarians representing Jubaland.
Deni called on Ahmed Madobe to remove the current unreliable lawmakers and bring in new and trusted ones.
In Puntland, Saeed Deni is said to be working to bring in loyal lawmakers.
The support of Jubaland and its administration gives Deni great hope, and he believes he can easily advance through the most difficult first round of elections.
In total, more than 100 members of the Upper House and the House of the People will be elected in Puntland and Jubaland, and Deni’s plan is to take control of the majority.
This could give Deni an easy way out of the first round of the toughest presidential election. Normally, 30 to 40 MPs would be enough to pass the first round.
If Deni makes it through the first round, then his victory will depend on who he faces, and in previous elections it has been learned that a new candidate always wins over those who have held office or are currently in office.
However, Deni’s election campaign is evidence that the controversy surrounding Somalia’s delayed elections was due to personal ambitions.
Also, this raises the question of whether Deni can control the parliamentary election, as he is a candidate.
Early this month, Somalia’s Minister of Planning Jamal Mohamed Hassan has previously addressed Saeed Deni’s controversial position as to his nonconformity to the established electoral rules.
Jamal said President Deni had postponed announcing his candidacy for the presidency of Somalia and was planning to interfere in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Puntland, according to the statement.
Jamal also demanded that as a presidential candidate, Saeed Deni step down from all electoral matters, and immediately stop interfering in the affairs of the electoral technical commissions.
In response, the Puntland’s president spokesman Jama Dabarani simply called the minister’s statement an attempt to incite violence in Puntland without confirming or denying the leader’s candidacy.
So the secrecy surrounding Saeed Deni possibility to be a candidate for the presidency is total. As of today, we don’t yet have a clear answer but a lot of irregular activities that raise suspicion.
Moreover, the inability in the Council of Presidential Candidates (CPC) to agree on a candidate and their total discredit in the eyes of the public points to a direction in which Deni might be tempted to run against President Farmajo.
This year’s federal election campaign in Somalia seems to be of particular interest, with a long list of presidential candidates vying for the presidency and the interference of a divided international community with interest in Somalia and foreign kingmakers operating in the shadow.