The Government of Puntland denounces what it called ‘illegitimate’ elections of the local council chair in Bosaso. The crisis unfolded when the city councillors in Bosaso formed two factions, each conducting their own leadership elections of the local council.
Bosaso, Puntland, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
According to the Ministry of Interior of Puntland, the district administration did not follow proper procedures for electing the chair and taking the oath. The process required a minimum of 22 Bosaso district councillors present from the total number of 33 members to proceed with the elections.
The events that unfolded deviated from the prescribed procedure. The councillors divided themselves into two camps. One side of the conflict had 17 members, one of whom did not take the oath. The other side had 16 members, all of whom took the oath. Both camps announced their own elected chairs of the Bosaso District Council.
The Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs, and Democratization of Puntland, Abdi Farah Juha, emphasized that no legitimate district council had been established in Bosaso. Correspondingly, no chairs had been duly elected. Only the 33 members of the local assembly, whom the public has chosen, hold their positions.
Upholding democratic principles
These developments highlight the importance of upholding proper procedures, transparency, and democratic principles in local governance. The government of Puntland must ensure that legitimate and transparent elections take place. Only this will safeguard the rights and interests of the voters. Minister Juha’s statement is encouraging and shows that the government of Puntland intends to take action to rectify the situation in Bosaso and establish a legitimate and functioning local council there.
Clarifying the procedures
On Monday, the Ministry of Interior clarified local councils’ swearing-in and leadership selection processes. It explained critical aspects of the election procedures. In a statement, the Ministry confirmed the quorum required for local councils to take their oaths and addressed the election of council leadership procedure. It outlined Puntland’s districts in three levels: A, B, and C, with Bosaso belonging to District A.
- District A, comprising 33 members, necessitates the presence and oath-taking of 22 members in the assembly (two-thirds of all council members).
- District B, with 27 members, requires 18 members to be present and take the constitutional oath.
- District C, with 21 members, requires 14 members to be present and take the constitutional oath.
Regarding the council leadership, members elect the leadership on the principle of 50%+1 of the total council members. Article 29 of the Law on the Administration of Regions, Districts, and the Establishment of Local Councils (LR.7) stipulates this.