The Puntland Electoral Commission (PEC) took a crucial step towards achieving a historic milestone yesterday and elected its leadership – the Chairman and Vice Chairman. Fu’aad Abshir Adeer emerged as the first Chairman of PEC, while Ahmed Mohamud Omar secured the position of Vice Chairman.
Garowe, Puntland, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
The election of key leadership figures within PEC is a pivotal moment for the government of Puntland, as it actively works towards the realization of the region’s inaugural direct democratic election. The forthcoming election marks a groundbreaking departure from traditional processes in Somalia, where leaders have historically been appointed rather than directly elected by the populace.
The decision to implement a democratic election in Puntland reflects a commitment to democratic principles and represents a beacon of hope for Somalia as a whole. This progressive approach sets a valuable example for other regions and communities within the country, encouraging them to embrace the principles of direct and representative democracy.
“Another step towards democratization”
The Speaker of the Puntland’s House of Representatives, Abdirashid Yusuf Jibril, described the election of the new PEC leadership as another step forward in developing Puntland’s democratization process.
Last week, the Puntland State Assembly approved new PEC members based on Articles 113 and 132 of Puntland’s Constitution. During the session, 39 MPs voted to approve the Commission; one voted against the bill. The Supreme Court of Puntland then swore in nine new members.
Moreover, on 9 September, the MPs approved an additional three members of the PEC, whom a Supreme Court judge then swore in. The new members are Abdisalam Bashir Abdisalam, Mohamud Ahmed Aynab, and Ubah Abdullahi Abshir.
While challenges undoubtedly persist, including the Puntland opposition party Mideeye’s initial announcement to boycott the upcoming January 2024 elections, such obstacles are increasingly viewed as surmountable. This is evident from Mideeye’s eventual decision to endorse and participate in the May local elections, in which the party won several districts.
Calls to revert to the old electoral system, in which clan elders selected Members of Parliament, appear increasingly out of step with the region’s forward momentum.