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Somalia’s Puntland state hold’s country’s 1st direct elections in over 50 years

Somalia’s Puntland state hold’s country’s 1st direct elections in over 50 years
Representatives from federal government and international partners observe polls

By Mohammed Dhaysane

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) - Somalia's autonomous state of Puntland held the country’s first “one-person one-vote” elections in over 50 years Monday.

"The people of Qardho, Ufayn and Eyl districts in Puntland have elected their local representatives and the turnout was high, and I am extremely happy to witness this historic day,” Fadumo Ali, one of voters, told Anadolu Agency by phone.

Polling stations closed at 6:00 p.m. local time and the vote counting process will start soon, according to Puntland’s Transitional Electoral Commission.

International partners including representatives from the United Nations, the federal government and regional representatives have arrived in Puntland to witness the country's first universal suffrage elections in half a century.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) said in a statement that it believes "the successful completion of ‘one person, one vote’ elections in Qardho, Eyl and Ufayn would be an important step in showing the feasibility of universal suffrage elections at local, state and national levels across the country.”

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble described the elections as a historic and important step.

“Congratulations. Local council elections begin today #Puntland It is a historic, exemplary and important step in the process of democratization and decentralization in our country. I hope the election ends peacefully and transparently,” Roble said on Twitter.

source: News Feed
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