The leader of the northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland Saeed Abdullahi Deni is facing a growing pressure from regional elders and politicians to step down before running for Somalia’s president in an upcoming vote.
In a banquet dinner for federal MPs chosen in his region, Deni declared his intention to run for Somali President to dislodge the incumbent leader Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo from office and ruled out that he would leave his current post.
Powerful traditional leaders in the region are steering a campaign to constrain Deni to hand in his resignation before departing on a trip to Mogadishu, in a step to prepare for a presidential election in which he would challenge Farmajo, former presidents and other well-known opposition figures.
Over the past weeks, the regional President has become so unpopular after rebuffing proposals by well-respected elders to dial down down tensions and launching an offensive against US-trained counter-terrorism force in the coastal town of Bosaso where dozens of civilians have been killed, with tens of thousands driven from their neighborhoods.
Political analysts the regional President’s efforts to cling to power in Puntland while also seeking to run for federal presidential office shows his lack of faith in his campaign to “remove” Farmajo, the only motive behind his run he has yet mentioned which critics say is also a testament of his ill-conceived candidacy.