Somalia: Puntland Election Commission officially launched


GAROWE, Somalia-Puntland has officially launched the newly formed Transitional PuntlandElectoral Commission (TPEC) during a well-organized event in the State capital of Garowe on Wednesday, Garowe Online reports. 

In attendance at the key event held at Puntland Development Research Center (PDRC) were Vice President Abdihakin Abdullahi Haji Omar, Parliament Speaker Ahmed Ali Hashi, ministers, parliamentarians, PDRC’s management and staff, members of civil society and media representatives. 

On April 24, Puntland parliament endorsed the nine-member commission jointly named by President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and Hashi in mid-February.  

Puntland Electoral Board Chairman Ahmed Mohamed Ali gave opening remarks at the launch ceremony, calling for all-out collective commitment by the government and members of the public to a very transition from clan-based form of governance to democracy. 

“Huge tasks including voter education awareness campaign, review into election laws, registration of political associations, voter registration, and announcement of official political parties lie ahead for the committee,” said Kismayo, former Puntland State Television Director and ex-BBC journalist who was picked in the first meeting of the board on April 25.

Ali emphasized the demanding endeavor before the government, Puntland people and international partners. 

He promised that they will act in accordance with the constitution, asking international democratization steering bodies to deliver on timely pledges. 

Nur Shire Osman, the Chairperson of Puntland Non-State Actors Association (PUNSAA) echoed the mammoth benchmarks the commission should meet as a condition for credible elections by 2019. 

Osman touched upon disarmament, social mobilization and demarcation of district borders.  

Women groups on their side pledged that they will rally around state’s democratization process.  International community representatives expressed their delight with the launch of PuntlandElectoral Commission, and announced their support for advancing democratic ideals in Somalia and Puntland in particular.  

Puntland Parliament speaker noted the board has enough time to execute tasks in a fair and transparent manner. 

Vice President Omar urged giant stride in the implementation of more viable democracy that could set an example for the rest of the country. 

TPEC is tasked with conducting and supervising state election under a renewed electoral Board passed by the parliament on December 9.


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