Monday October 25, 2021
Qardho (HOL) - Tens of thousands of Puntland residents will line up to vote in local elections on Monday in three districts, marking the first time a popular election was held in Somalia in over five decades.
Residents in Qardho, Eyl and Ufayn, will be the first to cast their ballot in Puntland's local elections. There are a total of 54 polling stations open to serve just under 40,000 registered voters.
The election is widely seen as a pilot run ahead of state-wide local government elections in other regions in 2022.
A total of 449 candidates will be contesting for 87 local council seats.
Puntland's Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC) says the polls will be open from 6 am to 6 pm and are accessible to disabled voters. It added that measures had been taken place to ensure the venue was secure. Voters must present their registration card for entry into the polling station; it warns that security will immediately arrest anyone found in violation of the rules.
Puntland's electoral commission largely stuck to the timeline released in mid-July.
Residents-particularly young people and women - were eager to register to vote, which confirmed that residents are determined to implement direct elections.
Puntland Electoral Commission Chairman Guled Salah Barre said that the ballots would be counted in each respective district, emphasizing that they would not be transported. He estimates that the results will be available by Tuesday.