A rift has emerged between the Somali Union’s presidential candidates and regional leaders

File Photo/Somali Times

A rift has emerged between the Union of Somali Candidates and the presidents of Jubaland and Puntland, once political allies in the fight against outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

The dispute stemmed from the way regional leaders handled the Upper House election, particularly Ahmed Madobe and Said Deni, with the Union of Candidates and their supporters not included in the list of candidates.

Candidates then issued a statement criticizing the conduct of the country’s elections, particularly the Upper House, and sent a direct message to regional leaders demanding that the role of the state be limited to facilitating and streamlining the elections.

Subsequently, the conference in Mogadishu was denied access to members of the Union of Candidates who had recently requested a role in the conference, in order to play a role in the country’s electoral process.

Credible sources told Somali Times that the Governors of Puntland and Jubaland, Said Deni and Ahmed Madobe, refused to allow the Union of Candidates to participate in the conference.

Reports say Ahmed Madobe and Said Deni are deeply saddened by the recent announcement by the Union of Candidates against the Upper House elections in the regional administrations. At the root of the crisis is believed to be the fact that Said Deni is believed to be running for Somalia’s President, creating a direct rivalry between him and the Union of Candidates.

Lawmakers from Jubaland and Puntland are believed to have relied heavily on the Union of Candidates, as other administrations are affiliated with or close to Mohamed Farmajo.

However, Deni’s candidacy closed the door on the Union of Candidates, which resulted in the two sides seeing each other directly, as their political interests clashed.