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Galmudug President Opposes New Parliament
Contested Galmudug Presidential Election to be Held on August 1st
By MOHAMED BEERDHIGE 07/31/2012

After the autonomous state of Galmudug's new parliament was sworn in and selected a new speaker and two deputies on Monday, the electoral commission announced that the state's presidential election would be held on Wednesday, August 1st despite heated conflict over the date.

Only four of the eight declared candidates announced that they would run tomorrow including Col. Abdi Qaybdiid and Abdi Shukri, both former Mogadishu warlords. Meanwhile Galmudug's current president, President Mohamed Ahmed Calin, who at the moment is recovering from surgery in Nairobi, Kenya, warned against holding elections this week. He said he would not recognize the new parliament, in an exclusive interview with Somalia Report.

Mr. President, how are you feeling? We heard you had surgery here in Nairobi.

Thankfully I am feeling better. I just came out of the hospital at this moment.

We, Somalia Report, published a report that Galmudug's new parliament was sworn into office while you were away. What is your view on this?

I heard it, but I am not supporting them, and I don't think it is the right thing to support. Only spoilers are managing this. I am the current president of Galmudug and have been in Nairobi since July 15. I was not aware of what they were orchestrating.

As president, if you are not here who takes on your responsibilities?

It is clear that Col. Abdi Qaydiin, a notorious and dangerous Somali warlord, is responsible for the political tension in the region. Col. Qaydiid and his comrades wants to collapse our state.

Elders in Galmudug selected 25 members of parliament who then elected a new speaker and two deputies while the electoral commission announced elections would be held on August 1st. What is your view on this?

What I am condemning is the how things transpired in Galmudug. I am the only person that can legally appoint the commission. After I heard about this turmoil, I told Galmudug officials and traditional elders to wait for me to return, but they did this anyway.

Who appointed the electoral commission?

The people who managing this anarchy, including the vice president, Col. Qaydiin, and so-called new parliament speaker, are the ones that appointed this so-called commission.

How was Col. Qaydiin able to do this if he is not in your cabinet ?

No, Col. Qaydiin is not in my cabinet nor an MP nor is he an official of Galmudug. He is just a warlord. After he lost a position in Somalia's government, he came to Galmudug to create disputes among us. He has armed clan militias and clan power in the region, which is why he has been able to impact politics even though he doesn't hold office. All these armed militias take orders him, not me.

Although you disagree with what is going on in Galmudug, some of your cabinet members, including Interior Minister Ahmed Baasto, talked to media and voiced their support for the new MPs and electoral commission. Does this mean you are the only person who is against it?

No, I am talking about the needs of the people as a whole and not particular people you mentioned such as the interior minister, the vice president and the so-called elected speaker. They all are fake and are not suitable to represent the people.

Are you running for re-election?

No, this election is not right. Galmudug doesn't need a warlord.

(Editor's Note: Somalia Report will follow the Galmudug presidential election and publish the results once they are confirmed.)