The first ever one-person-one-vote election is taking place in Somalia since 1969.
Voting for local councils is under way in 30 districts in the north-eastern semi-autonomous state of Puntland.
During the socialist rule of Siad Barre, who took power in a coup in 1969, political parties were banned. After he was overthrown in 1991 the country, faced with years of civil war and an Islamist militant insurgency, has used an indirect voting system via clan representatives.
The Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC) said 319,507 had registered voters collected voter cards and were expected to participate.
However, there are security concerns because of a dispute between Puntland’s President Sa’id Abdullahi Deni and his political opponents who accuse him of plans to extend his term in office.
Opposition-allied armed officers reportedly seized ballot boxes supposed to be moved from the regional capital Garowe to some polling stations.
The electoral commission consequently postponed the process in three districts, including the regional capital where deadly clashes occurred on 15 May. The other two districts are Dangorayo and Godobijiran.
Despite the political disputes, voters expressed their excitement to be participating in the what is so far a peaceful process.