Garowe (PP News Desk) — Questions have emerged about the make-up of the Puntland electoral arbitration committee appointed last year by the Puntland State Government.

Puntland is one of the region’s of the nation of Somalia, and borders Somaliland in the same geographically important region of north east Africa. In summer, 2020, Taiwan and Somaliland established mutual relations which involved the exchange of ambassadors, although this does relationship is not the same with Somalia.

Four members of Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission  (TPEC) have been appointed as arbitration committee members.

Ali Haji Warsame has criticised TPEC members moonlighting as members of the arbitration committee.

TPEC has a mandate to conduct pilot local elections in three designated districts of Puntland. Ali Haji Warsame, a senior and founding member of Mideeye, a political association, has pointed to a possible conflict of interest that can affect pilot local elections if TPEC members moonlight as arbitration committee members.

Warsame, a former Puntland Education Minister, expressed his view in a tweet, but it is not clear if his view reflects the position of the wider political association.

Some political associations in Puntland are exploring ways to expand election venues to lobby for inclusion of more districts with diverse populations.

The conflict of interest is based on the fact that Guled Salah, the TPEC Chairman, is a member of the arbitration committee.

Last year Puntland political associations held conferences to publicise their policies through which they had won supporters in major districts of Puntland.

“TPEC had imposed this form of pilot local elections on Puntland. It is not what political associations have negotiated. Political associations do not heve a level playing ground due to the way pilot local elections have been planned” said Adan Ali, a Bosaso-based political analyst.

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

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