Op-ed: The Dawn of Democracy in Puntland: A Promising Start and a Hopeful Future

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On Monday, Oct 25 marked an ideal milestone for the folks of Puntland, as residents of Ufeyn, Eyl, and Qardho districts stood in lengthy strains from daybreak to nightfall to solid their votes for the primary time in the primary standard native authorities elections ever held in Puntland.

As the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission TPEC has said, out of 46,839 registered voters, greater than thirty-six thousand potential voters have acquired their voting playing cards. This is a big indication of the extent of engagement from the general public and their need to take part in the political course of in a considerable means.

At the polling stations within the three districts, there have been native and worldwide observers aiming to look at the accuracy of the procedures and the equity of the method. Representatives of every of the eight competing political associations had been current at every polling station. Free media who had been broadcasting this excellent course of to the folks and documenting it for posterity had been to be seen at each polling station. Disciplined cops had been discharging the responsibility of guaranteeing the security of all concerned. Voting began at 6 am within the morning and it was to be concluded at 6 pm after sundown.

There are 4 hundred forty-nine candidates from eight political associations operating for eighty-seven seats within the native councils of Eyl (27 seats), Ufeyn (27), and Qardho (33). For the final months, a welcome addition to the lifetime of these districts had been candidate stickers, megaphones, marketing campaign songs, public debates, door-to-door campaigning, and back-and-forth motion of political operatives, campaigners, media, civil society, and management of political associations in preparation for this nice day.

At Qardho the place at present I had the privilege to go to and observe a number of polling stations in the course of the election, voters had been past moved and euphoric to train a most sacred political proper which is to elect their native representatives for the approaching 5 years. They had been congratulating one another and the bystanders on the historic significance of this event and the peaceable and civilized method the election was going.

Some of the established western democracies that function an exemplar for us within the third world have advanced over time to incorporate some segments of the society who had been disenfranchised originally akin to girls and other people of coloration, the promising actuality right here is that every one folks have a proper to take part in the method. Old and younger; males and girls; ready and disabled; all had been equals at present as they must be in exercising their rights of self-determination and participation within the administration of public life.

Interest and political consciousness of Somali persons are excessive relative to different societies; nonetheless, political house was all the time closed. The public had been mere spectators of the political course of, now they’re the core a part of it shaping their future by way of the poll field. This is a welcome change from the time when few held hostage the political will and rights of many. I even have little question in my thoughts that the change that began at present right here in these districts will change Puntland for good if maintained and constructed upon.

Earlier by way of this course of, I used to be nervous about poor public participation and indifference to this monumental alternative, nonetheless, I used to be relieved at present as I witnessed with my very own eyes the excessive stage of curiosity and the fervor which individuals had been exhibiting towards this transformation. It gave me hope that this might be a turning level within the trajectory of Puntland and an instance for the remaining of Somalia.

Puntland President Said Deni who deserves recognition for his contribution to this milestone, said at present that just like many individuals, it was the primary time that he himself participated in a standard election as he solid his vote at Waddaniya polling station in Qardho.

TPEC has completed commendable and extraordinary work from the start, and what we see at present has taken plenty of effort and time to attain contemplating the restricted sources at their disposal, the political and social context they’re working in, and the challenges they’ve confronted alongside the best way. I want them success in these preliminary elections and in the remaining of the deliberate elections to be held in all of the districts of Puntland.

I’m assured that this promising starting will result in the widening of political house and empowerment of residents which is essential for enhancing service supply, guaranteeing good governance and accountability.

By: Yaxye Bisle Suuley

Email: yaxyebisle8@gmail.com

The views expressed listed here are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Axadle’s editorial stance.

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