Big names dropped as Puntland gets ready to elect senators

Wednesday August 11 2021
Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni.

Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni addressing Parliament in Garowe on January 7, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | COURTESY


Some famous names in Somalia’s Puntland state will not be in the next Senate, after they were dropped from a list of contenders as the federal region got its turn to elect members of the Upper House.

The nomination list of 22 contestants forwarded to the local legislative assembly by President Said Abdullahi Deni of Puntland indicated that there will be two seats reserved for women.

But it also dropped key people in the outgoing Senate such as Somalia’s Former Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke and Former Planning and Communication Minister Abdirizak Jurile. Instead, it had four women contenders, going for the two exclusive seats.

Puntland will be the third federal member state to elect senators to the Upper House of Somalia’s Parliament.

Some of the notable names in the race include Puntland’s former president Abdurahman Mohamed Farole and former vice president Mohamed Ali Yusuf ‘Gaagaab’. The list also includes members of Deni’s Cabinet, such as Information Minister Abdullahi Ali Hirsi alias Tima’ade and Ports Minister Mohamed Abdi Osman aka Majiino.

As per the law, the president of the federal state uses his powers to nominate those who can compete for the seats and the local legislatures vote for them. In Puntland, it means every seat will have two contenders.


Eleven seats in the Upper House are reserved for Puntland. It is given a similar number of seats to Somaliland, another northern region of Somalia but which continues to declare unrecognised independence from Somalia. Nonetheless, Somaliland will also elect 11 Senators in Mogadishu when its turn comes later this month, although the polls team for the region has faced wrangles.

On Tuesday, the Speaker of the Puntland Parliament, Abdirashid Yusuf Jibril, announced the list of 5-member committee of the state’s House of Representatives chaired by Ahmed Jama Abdulle to organise the senate elections.

“This 5-member committee is going to manage the voting by our legislators for the seats to the federal Upper House of Parliament that will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, 11 August,” the speaker’s letter said.

The speakers’ statement refers to the list of the 22 candidates for the 11 senate seats.

Voting will take place in the state’s capital Garowe town, 1,000km northeast of Mogadishu.

Jubbaland State elected 4 out of its allocated 8 seats on July 29, while the South West State elected 5 out of its allocated 8 seats on August 3.

Galmudug and Hirshabelle states are yet to produce a list of the candidates to contest for their respective 8 seats.

Politicians from Somaliland are yet to agree on the State Electoral Implementation Team (SEIT) that is supposed to manage its election arranged to take place in Mogadishu.