Garowe(Mogadishu24)-Somalia’s Puntland State is on Monday morning holding highly contested presidential election where over 22 candidates are running for the posts of the President and Deputy President for the coming five years’ term in Garowe.

The candidates delivered speeches of their political programs before the 66 members of the House of the representatives who will decide to choose the region’s next president.

The electoral commission said in a statement this week that the election will be held on time, today, January 8, 2024, setting criteria, and conditions including an increase of payments required from presidential candidates vying for the presidency.  

Presidential candidates used to pay 20,000 U.S dollars before, but this time they paid 30,000 dollars while deputy presidential candidates have paid 1,5000 dollars, 5,000 increase to previous charges according to the statement.

Who will be Puntland State President ?

The incumbent President, Said Abdullahi Deni will likely win in today’s election because of his experience in elections as he took part 4 elections, two of them were federal levels in 2017 and 2022 with major votes according to Mahad Gele, a political analyst in the region. Deni has so many chances to return because his involvement in the parliamentary selection and his wealth.

The second Candidate is former Somali Prime Minister, and Puntland State President, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (Gaas) who has the experience to lead the region, but may not elected.

The third candidates are former Ministers of foreign affairs of Somalia, Abshir Omar Jama(Haruse) and Ahmed Issa Awad, but Haruse is said to be the Federal Government’s favor candidates and will possibly win in the election. Some say will Haruse or Deni be the next Puntland President ?

For the Deputy President, Former Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Somalia to the Republic of Türkiye, Jama Aidid Mohamed is one of those predicated to win as he expressed confidence and resigned from his diplomatic position a day before.

All the candidates accepted that they will accept the results of the election before the House yesterday.

Puntland State will have the 7th leadership since its foundation in 1998 while elites and residents are optimistic that election will happen on time peacefully, following a standoff over election management between the incumbent president, Said Abdullahi Deni and opposition candidates in the past two months.

“There is a ray of change here in Puntland soon and I wish Puntlanders for a success”, Ahmed Isse, one of the candidates said during  his registration in Garowe.

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