SOMALIA: Puntland opposition leader calls the government for dialogue

Dr. Sadiq Eenow

Dr. Sadiq Eenow

On Thursday, the leader of the political association (Midnimo) made a call for dialogue with the government, amid heightened tension between the opposition and the Puntland authorities.

The call to President Farole’s regime by the newly formed political association (Midnimo) comes after a recent spate of demonstrations and increasing opposition on the President’s plan to postpone the Presidential elections in January 2013.

Dr.Sadiq Enow the leader of Midnimo (Unity Party) said the country urgently needed dialogue amid the resurgence of tensions.

“…Because the current government’s official term in office was four years, President Farole took the oath in 2009, extending his term in office  for another one year will have grave consequences, we have seen it before in 2002…we have lost many people because of that conflict…we don’t need such violence to return to our beloved country…“ said Dr.Sadiq Enow.

The opposition leader accused the current government and the previous ones of deliberately refusing to create the constitution court of Puntland, but instead each one of them tired to extend their terms in office. This will lead the country that we all love into uncertain future, says Dr.Enow.

On Friday, two MPs from Mudug and Bari regions have released a joint a press statement calling on the traditional leaders to intervene and to hold a national unity conference. The Puntland Parliament’s term ended on 31st October this year.

President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole took office in January 2009 and his term of 4 years in office will end on 7th of January 2013. But the president says he will delay the elections scheduled in January, Farole wants to stay in power until 2014. He promises to hold the multiparty elections within a year.

During his election campaign in 2008 and first 100 days in office, President Farole promised that within his first year in office, he will impalement the democratization process by allowing multi party system, registering the citizens and holding a referendum on the new constitution. Now less than a month is remaining of his term in office. None of the these goals has been achieved.

Earlier this month, two major Presidential candidates have arrived in Puntland, Gen.Abdullahi Said Samatar who hails from Bari region and Abdirahman Gablah from Mudug region both are warning President Farole not to delay the elections.

In recent months, major clans in Puntland and Diaspora groups in the west have being calling on President Farole not to go ahead with his plans to cancel the elections. Last month former Prime minister of Somalia Prof.Abdiweli Ali Gaas released a statement calling the Farole regime in Puntland ‘oppressive’.

Puntland government has been accused of systematically harassing the independent media and journalists in the region. In October, government shutdown Horseed FM an independent radio station in Bosaso. The radio station has been banned from broadcasting since 6 October and access to its website is blocked in some of the region’s cities. The ban, which the police notified to the station, was a politically motivated and was not issued by any court.

The opposition groups accuses the Puntland government of using force to silence the people and prevent them for raising their demands. Last month, four people were wounded when Presidential guards opened fire on unarmed demonstrators during protests against the President in Gardo city.

Puntland State of Somalia an autonomous region, has been relatively peaceful but in the recent past, residents have expressed fear of escalating insecurity.

Asad Hersi
Horseed Media

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