For the past two months, disputes between political associations and the government of Puntland overshadowed the resumption of the local elections. Puntland has nine registered political associations that have competed during the recent early local elections. The rift between the two sides started in December 2021, when the date to hold the inauguration of the elected council was not met, triggering a wave of criticism from political associations and resignations by TPEC chairman and deputy chairman. With this regard, the local government act (Law No 7) orders the government to facilitate the inauguration of the members and their first session. Since then, many of the PAs have not been on good terms with the government and have blamed the government several for undermining the whole process. This was exacerbated when the government failed to hold the inauguration of the elected council for five months until April last year, when the council of two districts were seated. The failure of the government was largely attributed to the president Deni’ s ambition to become the presidential candidate for federal government in which he lost in May 2022.
Upon his arrival in Puntland the president pledged to complete the process and pay every effort in realizing that venerated goal of a democratic government where citizens have the power to elect their representatives. TPEC corresponding started to speed up the process - on 16th November, TPEC released the schedule of the voter registration, which was set to start on 13th December as planned but some political associations cast doubt on the scheduled date without resolving the unresolved issues hampering the local election, On the 30th of November, eight political associations issued a communique of 13 issues demanding from the government to solve before the voter registration is kicked off.
This analytical brief was produced through a collaboration between Puntland Development and Research Centre and the Somali Dialogue Platform (Wadahadalada Somaaliyeed). The Platform is a programme, implemented by the Rift Valley Institute, that works to facilitate agreement amongst Somalis on contentious political issues.