Local council elections are being held under universal suffrage in 30 districts in Somalia’s north-eastern semi-autonomous state of Puntland.
According to the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission, 319,507 registered voters have obtained voter cards and are expected to vote.
However, security worries have arisen as a result of a disagreement between Puntland regional state President Sa’id Abdullahi Deni and his political opponents, who accuse him of plotting to extend his tenure in power.
Opposition-allied armed officers reportedly seized ballot boxes supposed to be moved from the regional capital Garowe to some polling stations.
Meanwhile, the electoral commission consequently postponed the process in three districts, including the regional capital where deadly clashes occurred on May 15. The other two districts are Dangorayo and Godobijiran.
Despite the political squabbles, the process is proceeding quietly, and voters are excited to be a part of it.
This is Somalia’s first one-person, one-vote local election since 1969. The initial part of the exercise was held in only three districts in 2021.
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