Garowe (PP News Desk) — The Puntland Government has relieved the Badhan district police of their duties for failing to counter voter registration plans of the Somaliland administration.

The Puntland Government has now deployed troops in Badhan, and ordered them to remove any symbols of the Somaliland administration.

A delegation led by the Puntland Parliamentary Speaker Abdirashid Yusuf Jibril visited the contested district last week to fend off accusations that Puntland was unable to block voter registration plans ahead of Somaliland’s parliamentary elections.

Puntland deployed troops in Badhan after the district police had been accused of loyalty to the Somaliland administration.

“(The) Puntland and Somaliland administrations have influence in Badhan. Badhan politicians based in Hargeisa are committed to boosting their representation in Hargeisa, and enjoy the support of senior traditional leaders of Badhan constituency” says Ali Farah, an activist from Badhan.

In 2017 elections, Waddani, a Somaliland opposition party, won the highest number of seats in the Sanaag region.

Badhan reportedly fielded candidates for both the Kulmiye and Waddani parties.

“Badhan politicians and traditional leaders are keen to maintain their links with Hargeisa because more representation affords them an opportunity to access human development projects under the Somaliland Development Fund” a Bosaso-based political journalist told the Puntland Post.

Badhan is one of the most-populated districts of Sanaag but the Puntland Transitional Electoral Commission excluded Badhan from districts designated as venues for the 2021 pilot local elections in Puntland.

This article first appeared in the © Puntland Post, 2021 and is republished with permission

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