Somalia: Puntland gets new Parliament that will vote for president Jan 8
GAROWE, Puntland - The dispute resolution and approval committee of Somalia's northeastern Puntland submitted Monday the list of new MPs elected from across the regions, Garowe Online reports.
In a statement, the vetting committee endorsed a 66-member regional assembly composed of 49 new faces, mostly young and political novices and 17 who succeeded to retain their seats in the House.
Only one female legislator included in the new Puntland parliament which is expected to elect its new speaker and his deputy on 3rd January ahead of the much-awaited Presidential election on 8th Jan.
Twenty-one lawmakers have been elected from Bari, the largest region in Somalia, 11 from Sanaag region, 10 from Mudug, 9 from Nugal, 15 from Sool and Ayn regions, according to the committee.
The new MPs will vote for a new speaker and deputy on the third of January ahead of the presidential election which is slated for the 8th January 2018 with more than 20 candidates are vying for president.
The incumbent president Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas is among the aspirants in the race, seeking a second term in office amid claims that he failed in the security, economy and committed corruption.
Former Puntland President and current Somali Senator, Abdirahman Farole called on the new state parliamentarians to vote for new change and pick a competent and visionary president.
In Garowe, the state capital was flooded with candidates who already began vote-hunting campaigns under tight security measures ahead of the presidential election.
The new MPs who were elected in a clan-based system are the voters after the outgoing president fell short to fulfill his earlier promises to hold one person, one vote election in 2019.
Puntland banned ministers and officials in Mogadishu from visiting Garowe during the election and said it will confiscate illegal funds smuggled into the city in an attempt to prevent intervention in the voting.
The move came after Southwest state presidential election Dec. 19 has been marred by deadly violence following the arrest of a leading candidate, Mukhtar Robow by Ethiopian troops and subsequently transferred to Mogadishu.
Local politicians and lawmakers accused the central government of manipulation and meddling the election after supporting some candidates, including the Abdiaziz Lafta-Garen who won the contest for the regional presidency.