Somalia: Puntland lifts suspension on Lower House election


GAROWE, Puntland- The President of northeastern region of Puntland state, Abdiwali Mohamed Ali “Gaas” has lifted the suspension on the ongoing Lower House elections in Puntland, following his Vice President’s order to halt the voting on Monday, Garowe Online reports.

Puntland Vice President, Abdihakim Abdulahi Haji Omar, issued an order yesterday to the State-Level Indirect Electoral Implementation team (SIEIT) to suspend the parliamentary elections in objection to the outgoing Somali Parliament Speaker Mohamed Shaikh Osman Jawari’s decision to axe native clans in Sool, East Sanag and Buhodle from their seats quota in the Upper House chamber for Somaliland region.

According to the National Leadership Forum (NLF)-comprised of leaders of the Somali government and regional states- communiqué for the Somali electoral process, Jawari’s decision contradicted the seats distributions endorsed by the Somali leaders.   

But President Ali shifted his position, following discussions between representatives of the international community and caretaker Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke on the reasons for the suspension of parliamentary voting in Puntland. Close sources told GO that international diplomats stressed to the caretaker PM that the electoral process can’t be suspended by Puntland government.    

However, Puntland announcement to halt the parliamentary election wasn’t in fact related to the seats quota for native clans in Sool, East Sanag and Buhodole but to the financial support that hasn’t been received by Puntland, said the source.

The international community has previously pledged to the regional states of financial support of $ 2 Million for the states that adhere to the 30-percent women quota in the ongoing parliamentary elections.

According to a member in the electoral process said, the parliamentary election in Puntland is expected to resume in the coming days, as so far 22 MPs were elected out of 37 MPs representing Puntland in the Lower House chamber of Federal Parliament.

This is not the first time that Puntland President has quickly retreated back from his decisions or his Vice President in several stances. Early this year, Ali accepted the clan-based power sharing formula (4.5) as a model for the Somali electoral process, after firmly opposing it and was widely rejected by Puntland people.

As the regional states failed to meet the parliamentary election deadline, Somalia's electoral body has announced on Monday the postponement of the Somali presidential election again to December.


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