The Significance of Puntland Democratic Election and the Risks of Returning to the Tribal Quota System


Puntland, a semi-autonomous state located in the northeastern region of Somalia, made history as the first state in Somalia to hold a democratic one man one vote local government elections since 54 years 

The election took place on 25th may 2023 and marked a significant milestone in the country's political history.

The Puntland election was not only critical for the internal politics of the state, but it also played a crucial role in Somalia's plan towards democratic stability. The election was conducted under the auspices of Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission and was overseen by Representatives of the international community in all its institutions

The Puntland election was critical for several reasons. Firstly, it marked a break from the traditional clan-based politics that have lead Somalia's political landscape for decades. The state's election was contested primarily on policy issues rather than clan affiliations

the successful conduct of the election signaled that Somalia's security and electoral institutes were stable enough to hold a one-man-one-vote election. This came at a time when the country was still dealing with the threat of  terrorism groups , and state-building setbacks.

the Puntland election was crucial for the region's political and economic stability. Puntland is strategically located, and its stability is critical to the overall stability of the region.

On the day of the election, Puntland's registered voters turned out in large numbers to cast their votes. The TPEC had set up polling stations throughout the state, and security was beefed up to ensure the safety of voters and election officials.

The election was hotly contested by the candidates of Seven Polotical Parties , who campaigned on various policy platforms, including economic diversification, investment in infrastructure, and security reform. The election was conducted peacefully, and the TPEC  declared The political ties that obtained the majority of votes and the names of the candidates who won seats in the local council elections

But this success was not up to a few tribal leaders who found themselves outside the political theater, and they started to use their influence to obstruct all these efforts5

The step of this small group is a great danger, because Somalia has been struggling with political instability and insecurity for several years, and a significant contributing factor to this  was  the tribal quota system and the selection of clan leaders. 

The danger of returning to this system is significant. Firstly, the tribal quota system and the selection of clan leaders are inherently prone to corruption and nepotism. Clan leaders are often chosen for reasons other than their qualifications, such as their affiliation with a particular clan or their personal connections. This can lead to incompetence and the appointment of leaders who lack the necessary skills to lead effectively.

Secondly, the tribal quota system and the selection of clan leaders perpetuate a culture of division and discord. Rather than fostering national unity and a shared sense of purpose, this system promotes tribal loyalties and divides the country along ethnic lines.

Thirdly, the tribal quota system and the selection of clan leaders are incompatible with modern democratic values. In a true democracy, leaders are elected based on their ability to represent all citizens, rather than just those belonging to a particular clan or ethnic group. Therefore, returning to this system would represent a step backwards for Somalia in terms of democratic progress.

In conclusion, the tribal quota system and the selection of clan leaders pose a significant threat to Somalia's stability and progress. It is vital that the country continues to move towards a more democratic system that promotes unity, equality, and fairness. 

This requires a concerted effort by all stakeholders, including the government, civil society, United nation organazations  , international NGO , Somalia Donors , to work towards a common goal of a stable and democratic Somalia, And stop in the face of these leaders who want to return the country back to preserve their own interests,

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