The Foundation supports the preparations for local elections in Puntland, Somalia.
On 18 August 2020, the Max Planck Foundation delivered an ad hoc training for members of the Transitional Puntland Election Commission (TPEC) and representatives from registered political party associations in Garowe, the capital of the Somali Federal Member State of Puntland. The ad hoc training was organised by TPEC and addressed aspects of multi-level political party organisation in federal systems from a comparative perspective.
As the first Federal Member State in Somalia, Puntland is planning to hold direct elections for local district councils in 2021. In order to prepare for these elections, three districts have been identified where pilot district council elections will be held already by the end of 2020. For that purpose, the Puntland State government established TPEC as an independent commission tasked with preparing for these direct elections. The Puntland Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and Democratisation (MoIFAD) requested the Foundation to support the work of TPEC with the provision of technical and legal advice and capacity building. The support is provided under the German Federal Foreign Office funded project Capacity Building and Legal Advice on Political Decentralisation and Federalism in Somalia. The MoIFAD is the main project partner in the Federal Member State of Puntland under the framework of this project.
Only recently, a number of political party associations have been registered in Puntland, which will be allowed to contest at the upcoming district council elections. The ad hoc training was organised by TPEC to inform these newly registered political party associations in Puntland on aspects of electoral registration, organisation, and management of political parties in multi-level government systems from a comparative perspective. These questions are of particular importance in Puntland, because, according to the applicable electoral laws, only the top-three political party associations according to seats won in the district council elections will qualify to contest as political parties in the next State parliamentary elections for the Puntland House of Representatives.
The ad hoc training on multi-level political party organisation is the first of a series of planned project activities to support the work of TPEC on the preparations for local district council elections in Puntland.