Somalia: Puntland inaugurates new President
GAROWE, Puntland - Said Abdullahi Deni has been inaugurated as President of Puntland at a colorful ceremony in the state presidential palace in Garowe city on Saturday night, Garowe Online reports.
In his remarks, Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo called for "forgiveness and collaboration", pledging that he will spare no effort in resolving the political standoff between his Government and the Federal States.
Former Somali presidents Sheikh Sharif and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, as well as leaders of the regional states and distinguished guests, ministers, and lawmakers and traditional elders, were in attendance.
Several representatives from the International community, foreign diplomats and a delegation from neighboring Kenya were also present. President Deni was elected on January 8 with 35 of votes in a peaceful election.
"I'm honored to have been among the guests who attended the inauguration ceremony of H.E Said Abdullahi Deni, the President of Puntland, witnessed by President Farmajo, regional leaders & hundreds of Puntland residents. I congratulate H.E Deni, who won the 8 Jan 2019 election," AU envoy, Francisco Madeira tweeted.
During his inaugural speech, the newly elected Puntland President thanked all guests from different locations and vacating their work to witness his inauguration which drew a record crowd.
Deni, 53, has taken a hard-line against the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab and a rival splinter faction that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State operating in Bari region's hills.
Moreover, he has promised to strengthen government institutions, fight corruption and stabilize the economy of Puntland which has been paralyzed during the tenure of former president Abdiweli Gaas.
Puntland has again witnessed a peaceful transfer of power this month, following a hotly contested presidential election that ousted ex-president Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas in the first round of voting.
The new president comes into office as his oil-rich region on the Gulf of Aden, along with other regional states have an immense tense relationship with the Federal Government of Somalia in Mogadishu.