The United Nations in Somalia on Monday welcomed holding direct elections in three districts in Puntland State, northeast of the country.
The UN representatives said they visited Qardho in a show of solidarity with the people of Puntland as citizens participated in a ‘one person, one vote’ electoral process in three districts of the Federal Member State.
“The United Nations in Somalia believes that the successful completion of ‘one person, one vote’ elections in Qardho, Eyl and Ufeyn would be an important step in showing the feasibility of universal suffrage elections at local, state and national levels across the country,” the UN said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.
The UN representatives commended the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC), the government and people of Puntland for their commitment to holding direct elections, as enshrined in Puntland’s constitution.
Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Roble has also lauded Puntland State for holding historic municipal elections in the three districts, describing the elections as a good exemplary and important move toward democratization.
Vote counting has already begun after polling stations closed at 6 pm as a large number of people turned out to cast their ballots.
According to the UN, Somalia last held one-person, one-vote elections in March 1969 when the government was overthrown in a bloodless military coup.
Parliamentary and presidential elections took place in late 2016 and early 2017 through a system of indirect suffrage. Enditem