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Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014 - 5:11:05 AM
Somalia: ‘Registration of political associations open’: Puntland Election Commission

GAROWE, Somalia 12 Sep 2012 (Garowe Online) - The process for registering political associations has opened in Puntland State of Somalia, according to the Puntland Election Commission, marking the first time that political parties can be registered during the state’s 14-year history, Garowe Online reports.

Mr. Mohamed Hassan Barre, chairman of Puntland Election Commission and a former minister in the President Siyad Barre’s central government, told a press conference Tuesday in the Puntland capital of Garowe that political associations are welcome to register with the election commission.

“Puntland has satisfied the requirements, such as adoption of the State Constitution and Parliament’s passing of key laws including the Referendum Act, the Political Association Law, and the District Elections Law,” Mr. Barre said.

The Puntland Election Commission says many political associations will register and under an approval process by the commission. In early 2013, the political associations will compete for seats in District Councils across 21 districts across Puntland, in accordance with the demarcated districts of former President Barre’s rule.

Three political associations with the highest seats across voting in 21 districts will then formerly accepted as the state’s three official political parties, according to Chairman Barre.

Speaking during an interview with BBC Somali Service on Tuesday, Chairman Barre said this is a “historic moment for Puntland and all political associations are welcome to register, except associations that have militant or clan tendencies and links.”

Puntland, located in northeastern Somalia, has had its own state government since 1998 with elections, policies and security forces.

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