Garowe, Puntland, Somalia –
Puntland-based Mideeye political party condemned what they called “illegal actions” of the Puntland government and members of parliament who recently approved democratic amendments to the Puntland’s Constitution. In a statement issued on Friday, Mideeye also expressed concern about the delay in filing the case file submitted earlier to the Supreme Court.
Their statement came as a surprise to some. While the party initially rejected the local May elections registration, they eventually joined in and took part in them, effectively endorsing their legitimacy. Analysts point out that even now, the party might be just playing a game, intending to secure something in return for their eventual green light while receiving money from Mogadishu in the process.
In a press statement released on Friday, the party said: “We condemn as illegal, irresponsible and short-sighted the outrageous action that we have already warned about by the Puntland government and members of parliament, who said that they have changed the Constitution. We also tell the public that the President’s speech on 1 August misled the public and was a cover-up of his intentions.”
The party also expressed concern about the delay of the case submitted earlier to the Supreme Court, in which they claimed that one side was deliberately violating the Constitution. They accuse Puntland’s President, Said Abdullahi Deni, of abusing the laws and guidelines regulating political competition in Puntland.
Impending political crisis in Puntland?
What some call a political crisis in Puntland might soon become a serious threat to this semi-autonomous state. If the January 2024 election is not held in a fair manner, violence could erupt and cause instability. An illustration of such took place last June. Puntland’s security forces and the militia sponsored by the Aran Jaan political group clashed in Garowe. The security forces successfully defended the local parliament, pushing the militia back and compelling their withdrawal from the city.
The militia was led by General Jimale, the former commander of Puntland’s Danab force. President Deni fired Jimale from his position after the attempted mutiny. Concerningly, Jimale’s militia recently announced the end of the unilateral ceasefire, which had been brokered following the June clashes. In a threatening statement, Jimale warned that “Danab” (his militia) would respond to any move made by President Deni, whose time in office is supposed to end in January 2024. Jimale, similarly to the opposition groups, accused Deni of preparing to extend his term.
Not the first Mideeye’s statement
The Mideeye party also called on the international community not to legitimise nor support an election that is not broadly agreed upon. They urged Puntland’s clan elders to put aside their differences and take responsibility to “rescue” Puntland. Finally, the party also called on various sections of society, opposition politicians and all political stakeholders to come together as soon as possible to discuss the situation.
This is not the first time Mideeye complained about the constitutional amendments. In a statement released three weeks ago, the party argued that the May elections could not be used to justify altering the Constitution.
Mideeye, Bosaso-based, is the most significant opposition party in Puntland.