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UN hails direct elections in Puntland

Tuesday October 26, 2021

A voter in Qardho, Puntland

Puntland (HOL)- The United Nations (UN) praised Puntland for holding its first-ever 'one person, one vote electoral process in three regional districts.

UN Representatives who visited Qardho said that they were pleased with how smooth the historical electoral process was.

"The United Nations in Somalia believes that the successful completion of 'one person, one vote' elections in Qardho, Eyl and Ufeyn would be an important step in showing the feasibility of universal suffrage elections at local, state and national levels across the country."

Puntland conducted the local elections in the districts of Qardho, Ufeyn and Eyl. It was the first time in Somalia -outside the breakaway region of Somaliland - that residents were able to elect their representatives directly in over 50 years.

Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni said that the historic vote marked the beginning of the return to a government by popular rule.

"I have cast my vote in Gardho. Today is the beginning of returning power to the people to choose their political representatives and determine their future. This is a vital milestone for Puntland and Somalia, engaging citizens in Puntland on one person, one vote."

The UN further commended the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC), the government and the people of Puntland for their commitment to holding direct elections, as enshrined in Puntland's Constitution.

British Ambassador to Somalia, Kate Foster, made rounds within the three districts as the voting went on and praised the exercise.

"Exciting pictures as voting start across Puntland," Foster tweeted.

Leaders who have been praising the move to have people elect their leaders for the first time were Foster.

Foster visited Garowe last month ahead of the planned local elections in October to see the progress of the democratization process in Puntland.

During the visit, the Ambassador held her first meeting with President Said Abdullahi Deni, where they spoke much on the election process and plans that the UK had for the region.


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