The Puntland Electoral Commission (PEC) met yesterday with the region’s political parties to consult, analyse obstacles, and strengthen cooperation in preparation for the upcoming elections. Officials representing various political associations expressed their appreciation for the meeting, commending the Commission for its diligent work and the inclusive consultation process it has undertaken.
Garowe, Puntland, SOMALIA.
The PEC emphasised the importance of citizens’ readiness for the elections, urging them to prepare accordingly. Political parties expressed their commitment to actively participate in moving the electoral process forward, highlighting the crucial role of the people in shaping the region’s future. The Commission underscored that its primary focus is serving the people and working towards their interests.
The upcoming elections hold significant importance, surpassing local council elections in both scale and the leadership positions to be filled. Whether it is the House of Representatives or the Presidency, these elections will shape the future leadership of Puntland.
Fu’aad Abshir Adeer, Chairman of the PEC, highlighted the significance of the electoral process and the responsibility of the Commission. He emphasised that the elections are a platform for expressing citizens’ voices and free choices about who will represent them in the parliament and executive branches.
PEC subdivision approved
The meeting between the PEC and political parties signifies a collaborative effort to ensure a smooth and credible electoral process. By engaging in consultations and addressing potential obstacles, the Commission and parties enhance the integrity and transparency of the upcoming elections.
Moreover, the PEC members met for their weekly meeting earlier today. They approved the subdivision of the PEC, which the Committee reviewed and made changes to align it with its work.
Efforts to undermine the democratisation process
Despite the PEC’s commendable efforts and participation in meetings with the political parties, elements of Puntland’s opposition continue undermining the region’s journey towards democracy. Last week, Aran Jaan leader Mohamud Shide openly came out against the people’s will in Puntland. During a consultative meeting of Puntland opposition groups in Garowe, the founder of this controversial group, known for exploiting tenders and other projects for personal gain, made remarks that further fueled the people’s discontent with Aran Jaan.
Shide stated that no one could support the ongoing democratisation process in Puntland, emphasising that the current election process fails to provide a platform for participation, neither for international organisations nor local ones. He boldly declared that the time for democracy in Puntland was over.
Shide’s group involved itself in various incidents that some considered treasonous. During local elections, they attempted to incite a civil war in Puntland by attacking vehicles transporting ballot boxes and burning ballot papers. The Puntland government, having prior knowledge of their intentions, chose not to hold elections in several districts to prevent clashes.