Somalia’s Galmudug Region postpones elections

DHUSAMAREB, SOMALIA — Galmadug postponed elections that were supposed to be held at the end of this year. The leadership of the region declared that the election would be conducted after three years.

The postponed elections were for presidency and members of parliament that are due to happen late this year. However, the head of the ministers Mohamed Shakir Ali who talked to the press announced that elections will not be held in the region and the administration will serve the next three years.

The incumbent, Ahmed Duale Gelle knows as Haf, was elected after former regional president Abdikarim Hussein Guled resigned in the year 2017. Mr. Haf was selected to serve the rest of the former president’s term and then seek reelection.

The leaders said they started their reign a fresh after the recent Djibouti agreement between Galmudug and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a, which aimed at uniting the two divided parties and enabling them to be governed under one umbrella.

The Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jammah (ASWJ) are Sufi Muslims who took up arms against al-Shabab to prevent the spreading of inflexible Islamic law and the group now controls some parts of Galmudug, including the capital city, Dhusamareb.

Ahlu Sunnah and Galmudug regional leadership are currently head-on as a result of election controversy by reigning government.

Sources from federal government officials told Somali Affairs that Mogadishu will not accept any extension of the planned Galmudug election in late this year. Members of both houses of the parliament that represent Galmudug State are also reported to have opposing views on this matter. Some of the members appear to agree with federal government that elections in Galmudug cannot be postponed.

This announcement will further the existing division between Galmudug leaders. While President Haf, and most of his council of ministers are in Dhusomareb, the capital of Galmudug State, the Vice President Mohamed Hashi and the speaker of the house are in Adado city. Federal government has tried to mediate both sides to come to the table and end their division, but those attempts have failed due to mistrust between them.

Somalia’s five regions – Puntland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle, South West State, and Jubaland – are in the midst of a presidential election process, which began last November, running through to the end of 2019.

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