Siibad held a press conference in Garowe to clarify Mustaqbal’s stance on the democratisation process in Puntland where “Artcile 114 of Puntland Constitution states elections will have to be based on universal suffrage” said Siibad, who slammed organisers of the planned pilot local elections for violating constitutional rights of citizens.
“The path to free and fair elections is clear. A wrong approach to democratisation will yield disappointing results. We believe that conducting elections before a census and without the goal to form district councils violates the Constitution of Puntland” he said.
Siibad highlighted a fundamental anomaly in the TPEC-prepared electoral process that will lead to arbitrary selection of councilors and MPs.
“Without census it is difficult to determine the number of MPs and district councilors for each district and region. MPs selected locally will elect a President” added Siibad.
Some analysts believe that the Constitution of Puntland needs to be revised.
If MPs can elect a President, the powerful Puntland executive branch will gain a new lease of life, they reasoned.
“Citizens should elect a President if they can elect MPs and district councilors” said Dahir Ali Aw Mohamud, a retired civil servant in Bosaso.
“If pilot local elections get conducted at three designated districts, will it fall to the winning political association to appoint a district administration?“ said Siibad.
He pointed out that the absence of a constitutional court would adversely affect the democratisation process “if TPEC is accused of favouritism.”
The Puntland Constitution stipulates the role of a constitutional court to address serious allegations against the electoral commission.
The Mustaqabal Chairman urged the TPEC to put the democratisation process back on the right track in line with the Constitution of Puntland.
This article first appeared in the © Puntland Post, 2021 and is republished with permission