The regional lawmakers of Somalia’s northeastern Puntland state have elected former Somali planning minister, H.E Saed Abdullahi Mohamed Deni as the new president on Tuesday.
Deni received 20 votes, followed by former state spy chief, Asad Osman Diyano who secured 17 while Former Finance Minister under Farole administration, Farah Ali Shire came third with 9 votes in the first round.
Meanwhile, the electoral commission announced that the three top recipients of the ballots progressed to the second round of voting in which Deni won 29 votes while Asad Diyano got 30 votes.
In the election, 21 candidates contested for the top seat.
The incumbent president Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas who led Puntland since 2014 has lost in the first round with 8 votes that prevented from advancing to the second round after failing to win enough votes.
Deni was declared to be the winner after garnering 35 votes out of the 66 newly sworn in MPs, including one female member, defeating his rival candidate, Asad Diyano who won 31 during the third round of ‘a neck and neck’ presidential race.
The former president conceded defeat after the hardly contested election win for Saed Deni, his successor and congratulated him on his victory in a poll that was billed as a test for democracy in Puntland, situated on the Gulf of Aden.
Saed Deni will lead Somalia’s oldest regional state for the next five years, replacing Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, whose government was marred by corruption, nepotism, and accused of failing in the security and fight against the terrorism.