Somalia Holds Local Elections

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Voting is underway in 30 districts in Somalia’s north-eastern semi-autonomous state of Puntland where local council elections are being held under universal suffrage.

The Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission, TPEC said 319,507 registered voters collected voter cards and are expected to participate.

However, there are security concerns due to a dispute between Puntland regional state President Sa’id Abdullahi Deni and his political opponents who accuse him of plans to extend his term in office.

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 disputes, the process is underway peacefully and voters expressed excitement to be participating in the process.

This is the first one-person one-vote local election to be held in Somalia since 1969. The first phase of the exercise was held in 2021 in only three districts.


BBC/Christopher Ojilere


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