Puntland Leader Deni Joins Race for Somalia Presidency

Puntland Leader Deni Joins Race For Somalia Presidency (News Central TV)
Puntland Leader Deni Joins Race For Somalia Presidency (News Central TV)

Said Abdullahi Deni, the leader of Puntland, confirmed on Saturday what had been rumoured for months, that he will run for the Somalia Presidency in the upcoming elections.

Deni said; “In this evening, I am here to inform you that I am going to run for the President of Somalia.

“I urge all the other (opposition) candidates to unite to drive out the president whose term in office lapsed, Farmaajo.”

Mr Deni, who leads Somalia’s longest federal state, is entering an already crowded presidential contest, but his candidacy could roil the waters for other hopefuls, including those from his clan or Puntland natives.

He spoke at a dinner in Garowe town, Puntland’s capital, around 1,000 kilometres northeast of Mogadishu, honouring members of Somalia’s bicameral parliament who were elected in Puntland.

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Deni’s intentions have been circulating for nearly a year, but the clearest indication that he is gunning for Somalia’s top job came from Jubbaland State President Ahmed Mohamed Islam Madobe during a visit to Garowe town in November last year.

 At a special meeting with Puntland’s Vice President, members of the cabinet and the members of the local legislative assembly, attended by Madobe and Deni, the former informed the audience about Deni’s intention to run for Somalia’s presidential palace in Mogadishu.

Madobe said; “My brother Said Abdullahi Deni is going to run for the post of the federal president and needs the support of all of us.

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“This is the reason I came to Garowe town and called for this meeting, realising that Deni needs all of us to prop up his ambition.”

Deni made it clear on Saturday that he is not only a contender, but also a rival to incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.

Deni attended a separate meeting with members of Puntland’s federal parliamentary bodies, informing them of his intention to run for the State House in Mogadishu.

The Puntland leader told the elected legislators that he has been working hard for the past three years to overthrow President Farmaajo’s administration, and that he is willing to cooperate closely with any candidate or group with the same goal.

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