Tuesday October 26, 2021
Qardho (HOL) - Election officials in Puntland have announced the results of the historic 'one-person,one-vote' local election on Tuesday.
Overall, the Kaah party - led by Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni - was the main winner, securing 35 seats - or 40% of the total vote share in the three districts. Mideeye got 25 of the possible 87 seats while the Justice and Equality Party had the third-best showing with 20 seats across three districts.
Women representatives will make up a quarter of all new councillors.
The election had an enthusiastic turnout, with 76% of nearly 40,000 registered voters casting a ballot.
Thirty-three people, including nine women, have been elected by their peers to represent them as local council members in Qardho. The election marked the first direct election in Somalia outside of Somaliland since 1969.
Two political parties, Kaah and Mideeye, were the biggest winners on Tuesday, gobbling up 12 and 11 seats, respectively. The Justice and Equality Party scored nine seats, while Ahmed Abdirahman Hassan Duale will be the only Ifiye party member in the new council.
The election of nine women council members is just shy of the thirty percent quota demanded by women's rights campaigners in Somalia.
Among the notable incoming representatives is Muhsin Abdullahi Haji, who was elected to the Qardho local council as a member of the Kaah party. Hajji is an internally displaced person (IDP) who originally hails from southern Somalia.
Close to 40,000 voters registered to cast their ballots on Monday in Qardho, Eyl and Ufayn. A total of 449 candidates contested 87 local council seats.
In the Eyl district, 27 new councillors were certified by Puntland's electoral commission.
The Kaah party was the biggest winner in Eyl, securing about half the total seats in the local council. The 13 seats are just shy of a majority. Mideeye will form the opposition with six seats. Only six women were elected to the council.
It's worth noting that close to a fifth of the ballots cast in Eyl was spoilt. Over the 6,766 total votes, a whopping 1,360 were registered as invalid compared to 8.2% in Qardho and 11% in Ufeyn.
Kaah came up on top again in Ufeyn, securing 10 of the possible 27 seats. Mideeye came in a close second, with eight seats, while the Justice and Equality party trailed slightly behind with seven. Horseed and Mustaqbal each secured a single seat.
Women achieved the 30% quota in Ufeyn, with eight women elected.
The election was widely seen as a pilot run ahead of state-wide local government elections in other regions in early 2022.
Somalia's international partners lauded the vote - which went without any significant incidents - as a resounding success.