Donor Community Re-ngages Puntland Parties to Commit themselves to Holding Elections

Garowe, Puntland-Following the disagreements between the Puntland Government and the Transitional Electoral Commissions on one side and political associations on the other, on holding planned local elections in Puntland in a fair and transparent manner, or if you would, setting up a consensus platform for the rules of the road, resulting in the announcement of election boycott by UDAD, Midnimo and PDP parties, the Donor Community providing funds and technical expertise on Puntland elections, gets worried and started re-engaging parties to move the democratization process forward, according to reliable local and international sources. This is good news for Puntland and its voters to participate actively in a rare democratic process that will see inhabitants deciding the destiny of their country and an opportunity to install the government of their own making and accountable only to them. It is extremely the most important political development in the short history of Puntland and must be hailed as such.

If elections are held as planned in June of this year, based on the provisions of the Puntland Democratization Roadmap, Puntland State is set to come out of the woods and political stagnation it has been stuck throughout its existence. The Donor Community is doing a remarkable job to prevent political chaos and misuse of Donor funds, state power and resources to influence the elections’ outcome.

It is extremely important for all parties, including Puntland authorities and political associations to work with the Donor Community in this regard, for if this process fails, it will have a dramatic impact on the viability of Puntland as a Federated State in a now Federal Somalia. Fair and transparent elections are critically required to preserve the unity, peace and continuation of Puntland as the first pillar and champion of federalism in Somalia. Failure to set the example right will definitely have crucial negative influence at national level, raising renewed questions on suitability of Somalia for Federal system of governance. All Puntland stakeholders of the planned elections must be warned, advised and be very careful in moving the Democratization fairly and honestly forward.

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