Northern Somalia Election: Muse Bihi Vows to Retain Presidential Seat
HARGEISA, Somalia – President Muse Bihi Abdi of the breakaway region of Northern Somalia has announced his intention to seek re-election, following the recent announcement of a delayed election date. While facing criticism from opposition members who accuse him of dictatorship, Bihi is determined to defend his seat.
The ruling party Kulmiye has elected Mohamed Kahin, the Minister of Interior, as the new chairperson, allowing Bihi to focus on his re-election campaign. Despite public disapproval, Bihi will remain the party’s flag bearer in the December 2024 elections, which have been postponed against the region’s constitution.
For a while now, Kahin, a key figure in the formation of Northern Somalia, has been seen as Bihi’s potential successor. Bihi praised Kahin as a capable leader who will guide the party to greater achievements, emphasizing that these changes will facilitate the emergence of new leadership.
The party also elected Mohamud Hassan Saajin as the vice chairman. Bihi’s term was originally scheduled to end in November of this year, but the House of Elders [Guurti] extended his presidency by two years last October.
In addition to internal political conflicts, the region is struggling with security issues in the Sool and Sanag regions, as tensions and violence escalate in Las Anod city. The clashes between SSC-Khatumo forces and the regional army have resulted in over 200 casualties and numerous injuries.
President Muse Bihi Abdi has faced accusations of mismanaging Northern Somalia’s internal affairs, leading some leaders to call for his removal. During the 2021 parliamentary elections, Kulmiye suffered defeat against the Wadani and UCID parties, who captured 52 out of the possible 82 parliamentary seats.