By : Zakeriye ahmed Horndiplomat Correspondent
Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland’s Transitional Electoral Commission announced the polling stations and registration centers for upcoming local municipal elections in the state.
The commission has released 524 polling stations in 37 electoral districts in nine regions, including Sool and Sanaag regions, for a long-time disputed area between Somalia’s breakaway nation of Somaliland and Puntland state.
These local council elections are the gateways that Puntland wants to penetrate the state’s presidential elections, which suppose to happen in January 2024, when current state leader Said Abdullahi Deni’s term ends.
Many Puntlanders called this a process that could end the representation based on clan elders and small-group choices, which gives back the people their rights, but the question is will this process become free and fair or not.
For the first time in the history of Puntland, three districts in the Puntland state held one person, one vote on October 2021. Eyl, Qardho and Ufeyn become the first three districts to host the local council elections.
It was recently when the state’s interior ministry swore Eyl’s elected councils a year ago later due to disagreements from the political organizations, and Faysal Khalif and Abdirisaaq Kilwe from the Kaah organization were elected as Eyl’s mayor and deputy.
Ahmed Said Nur, a senior member of the Mideeye organization, accused the interior ministry of making the election the government announced a sham after the minister announced that the ruling organization of Kaah’s deputy mayor candidates received 15 votes while he only got 8 votes.