Garowe (PP News Desk) — Voters in Qardho, Ufeyn and Eyl have began to cast their votes in historic pilot local elections in Puntland twenty three years after the federal member state came into existence as an autonomous administration.
Eight political associations are contesting district council seats of the three districts. Three political associations will graduate to political parties when votes have been counted. Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC) reckons results will be publicised within a week.
Questions remain as to how successful political associations will share the representation spoils of districts whose inhabitants have not given the the opportunity to exercise their rights to vote as stipulated in Puntland Constitution. There are questions about legitimacy as far as the formation of city councils are concerned. “MPs from the districts hosting pilot local elections might claim special democratic privileges to select MPs and Councillors from non-voting districts” a political commentator in Galkayo told Puntland Post.
Ali Haji Warsame, a former Puntland Education Minister and 2017 Somalia Presidential Candidate, criticised the portrayal of pilot local elections as final and the steppingstone to forming a new government. “No political association will become either a winner or loser” tweeted Warsame.
TPEC has not revised its guidelines that facilitated the registration of the political associations on the understanding that only three successful political associations will become political parties in Puntland after the end of historic pilot local elections.
© Puntland Post, 2021