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Puntland’s army chief to run in next year’s presidential election

Hiiraan Online
Monday October 29, 2018

GAROWE (HOL) – Puntland’s army chief of staff said on Sunday he intended to run in the northern Somalia’s regional state presidential election which is scheduled to take place in January next year.

Declaring his election candidacy, Gen. Saeed Mohamed Hersi, widely known as Saeed Dhere said he will run for the presidential election to save Puntland from political mayhem, communal violence and spread of violence by Puntland’s ‘enemy’, calling for support by the region’s lawmakers to help him win the presidential election.

“Having considered the current economic situation in Puntland, having considered the security situation, having considered the spread of our enemy across our territory, having considered the communal violence, I realized that there was a great need for a leader who can unite people in a fair and equal manner ,” the influential veteran commander leading the region’s army known as Dervishes said at a ceremony In Garowe, Puntland’s provincial capital.

“My key priority is to benefit the people of Puntland of my 40 years of experience in the army as one of the founders of Puntland.” He noted.

According to analysts, Gen. Hersi’s candidacy for presidency could further challenge Puntland’s incumbent president Abdiweli Mohamed Ali who has spent months positioning himself for a potential run in the upcoming election which is expected to draw over a dozen candidates running for the region’s top seat.

Just few hours after the general’s declaration of his candidacy, president Ali has appointed a new army chief succeeding Mr. Hersi who is now moving away from the army to politics.

As the presidential election approaches, presidential candidates have started criss-crossing their respective constituencies across the region, wooing locals with promises of economic development and prosperity for Puntland which is fighting two rebel groups from the rival al-Shabab group and the so-called Islamic state.

The vote will be held on early January next year, with candidates continue registering with the electoral commission.

Meanwhile, some of the candidates accused president Ali of imposing some rules including a recent ban on political gatherings that his government imposed citing security concerns in an attempt to kill off their campaigns amid allegations of stacks in electoral process by his state in favor of his ally candidates or for himself.


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