Deputy Finance Minister stunned by PM snub, leading to mounting resentment and explosive rift with President Deni in Mogadishu.

Saturday May 13, 2023

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Astounding news has been uncovered by Somalia’s Deputy Finance Minister, Abdiqafar Hassan Hange. According to him, President Deni has been persistently opposing the federal government for the reason that he wasn’t able to attain the position of Prime Minister!

During a shocking television interview conducted in Mogadishu, Hange, who is also a Member of Parliament representing Puntland, revealed how Deni’s resentment began due to his failure to get the Prime Minister’s position when Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud overlooked him for someone else.

Last year, Deni publicized his support for Mohamud, despite the intense climactic final round of the national presidential elections that resulted in Mohamud beating the incumbent President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo. Political analysts believed that Mohamud would choose Deni or one of his allies for the Prime Minister’s role, but this prediction never came true.

Hange plainly said, “After the Presidential election, Deni started exhibiting signs of extreme discontentment with the situation because he was eyeing the Prime Minister position. The moment he didn’t get it, he started secretly inciting discord between Puntland and the central government.”

He added that Deni has been vocal in informing international organizations and Somalia’s debt relief agencies that there’s no cooperation agreement with the central government. Hange also noted that the people of Puntland consider Deni’s squabble with the central government a personal matter, not a federal dispute.

The recent debt relief program for Somalia could potentially face some setbacks, and Prime Minister Hamze Abdi Barre is warning that President Deni is to be blamed. Inadvertently, the federal government is not going to tolerate any failures in this crucial debt forgiveness process. Barre called out to Deni to stop politicizing the matter and settle Puntland’s concerns upfront.

On another front, former Puntland Finance Minister Hassan Shire Abgaal has urged President Deni to either alter the Constitution rather than rescheduling the presidential election to 2024. Speaking at a press conference in Garowe on Friday, Abgaal, a former close ally of Deni, declared that any delays by President Deni could put the forthcoming election slated on January 8, 2024, at risk.

Abgaal further clarified that while opposition politicians are not against Puntland’s recent local government elections, they firmly oppose any changes or extensions to Deni’s term of office.

In the midst of these unfortunate happenings, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, during his Friday sermon at the Villa Somalia Mosque, censured President Deni and advised Puntland’s leadership to desist from actions that could destabilize the region.

The state of Puntland is scheduled to undertake statewide direct local elections on May 24, following a pilot election held in December. Regrettably, prominent personalities such as Abdirahman Faroole and Abduwali Gaas, former Puntland Presidents, are boycotting the polls, citing mismanagement.

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