Somaliland: NEC Starts Voter Cards Distribution in Sool and Sanaag Regions, Amid Threats from Puntland

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NEC clerks await to serve registered voters at distribution Centre on Sool region

By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- The Somaliland National Election Commission-NEC has officially opened 350 centres to issue voter cards in Sanaag and Sool Regions.
According to the chairman of NEC, Commissioner Abdiqadir Iman Warsame the election body has fully trained clerks undertaking voter cards issuance in 177 centres in Sool region while Sanaag has a total of 173.
While stressing on the importance of registered voters getting hold of their cards, which will facilitate election of leaders of choice , Commissioner Iman pledged that his body’s is committed to ensuring that not a single registered citizen is denied.
In Sool region where NEC has established 177 centres, the trained clerks are expected to issue the cards to the 71,000 people who registered as voters in the region.
In Sanaag region where 85,000 residents were registered as voters, the cards facilitating participation in elections are to be aessed in the 173 centres NEC has established in various districts of the sprawling eastern region.
The voter cards distribution exercise targeting the 156,000 registered voters in the two regions shall be conducted for a period of two weeks that is from 12th to 26thAugust 2017.
NEC which is in the final phase of voter cards issuance having completed the same in region of Sahi, Maroodi-jeeh, Toghdeer and Awdal is expected to proceed to final preparations for the Somaliland presidential elections slated for 13th Novemer 2017.
As usual in similar excercises in Somaliland, the three national poltical parties of ruling Kulmiye and two opposition ones of UCID and Wadani are in Sanaag and Sanaag regions in pursuit of boosting supporters collection of the voter cards.
Puntland information minister Abdi Hirsi Ali Qarjab The three political parties teams in the tworegions are led by their leraders cum presidential candidates Messrs Muse Behi Abdi of Kulmiye, Eng Feisal Ali Warabe of UCID and Abdirahman Irro of Wadani respectively.
In the meantime the government of Somaliland has issued a strong warning against anybody or entity intent on disrupting the smooth conduct of voter cards distribution in both Sool and Sanaag regions.
In a statement released from the capital Hargeisa by the deputy interior minister in-charge of security Mohamed Muse Diriye, the government of Somaliland is not only Determined to ensuring all registered voters but committed to protecting its territorial jurisdiction, at all costs.
The deputy interior minister was reacting to sentiments expressed by Puntland authorities who had earlier on warned that the regional administration based in Garowe shall not allow, be it by use of force, the distribution of voter cards in both Sool and eastern parts of Sanaag regions.
The promise to disrupt the NEC exercise issued earlier by the Puntland information minister Abdi Hirsi Ali ‘Qarjab’ was justified by the Somalia administrative region’s claim to Sool and Eastern Sanaag regions of Somaliland because predominating residents of Dhulbahante and Warsengeli are share the Darood clan lineage with the Marjeertens of the enclave.
Similarly the Puntland administration has vehemently denied claims that it had upon agreement with Somaliland authorities, withdrawn its bvoter cards distribution in both Sanaag and Sool regons.
According to the enclaves information minister Qarjab, the threat not only stands but shall be implemented thence Somaliland should desist from pursuit of issuing the cards.
Puntland was reacting to a statement issued in Las Anod,, by the Somaliland interior minister Prof Yassin who revealed the purported arrangement which the authorities in Garowe deny

Somaliland interior minister Prof Yassin Mahmud Hiir Faraton

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