Garowe(Mogadishu24)-Puntland State’s Parliament strongly rejected, on Wednesday, a committee appointed by State President Said Abdullahi Deni to address parliamentary disputes ahead of the scheduled parliamentary and presidential elections next month.

The parliament expressed concerns about the transparency of the election process, citing the committee’s unsuitability to conduct transparent parliamentary elections

In a statement, the parliament claimed that the president bypassed the parliamentary role of approving an election committee and dispute resolutions committee.

“Therefore, we declare that the committee is not suitable to conduct a transparent election that can be trusted by the candidates competing for the members of the House of Representatives, the Parliamentary Council, and candidates vying for the presidential seat,” the statement read.

Vice President of Puntland State, Ahmed Elmi Osman ‘Karash’ also distanced himself on the appointment of the Committee, saying it was unconstitutional . “I am committed to holding transparent election on time”, he said.

This development comes a day after President Deni formed an eight-member Committee on Tuesday to address parliamentary disputes amid a prolonged election stalemate in Puntland.

On Wednesday last week, President Deni announced that Puntland would return to the clan-based voting system on January 8, 2024, following mounting pressure from the opposition and elders’ intervention regarding the disputed one-person-one-vote elections system.

The clan-based election system involves the selection of 66 MPs by clan elders to represent them in the House of Representatives. These Members of Parliament will then elect the president.

The State President had previously declared that democratic elections would be held on February 25, 2024, a decision that has heightened tensions in the city of Garowe.

The President of the federal government, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, welcomed the announcement made by Puntland State President Said Abdullahi Deni regarding regional election issues.

He emphasized that Puntland has been a symbol of peace and unity, setting an example for other federal member states.

President Hassan praised Deni and community leaders and intellectuals for their vital role, describing their efforts as steps that strengthen the stability and political development of Puntland and Somalia in general.

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