A special ceremony marking the swearing-in of members of the Puntland Election Commission (PEC) was held at the Puntland State University campus in the Puntland capital of Garowe on Sunday, 17 July 2011.
The event was attended by the President of Puntland State of Somalia, H.E. Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Farole), Vice President H.E. Abdisamad Ali Shire, Speaker of Parliament, H.E. Abdirashid Mohamed Hersi, among Cabinet ministers, Puntland parliamentarians, High Court judges, traditional elders (Issimo), religious scholars, business community, and civil society of Puntland.
President Farole’s 22-minute speech covered a range of topics, including the ongoing democratization process in Puntland and the role of PEC, the history of democratization in Puntland, the security situation and pardon for insurgents, insecurity in Mogadishu and south-central Somalia, the drought and the refugee exodus, and the expected Somalia National Consultation Conference.
“It is a great honor for me to speak at the event of swearing-in for members of the Puntland Election Commission…No legitimate election has taken place in Somalia since 1969, because 21 years of anarchy (1990-to-present) was preceded by 21 years of dictatorship (1969-to-1990),” President Farole said.
Continuing, he said: “Today, we have an election commission consisting of members who are knowledgeable, experienced and dutiful and who shall advance Puntland towards democratic equality, whereby each person can vote for his candidate directly.”
Puntland’s leader explained that a system of election has been in place in Puntland since 1998, but that election process was “based on districts and clan representation using Somali cultural norms.”
“It was one of my election promises [in 2008] to introduce multi-party political system in Puntland and my gratitude to Allah that today we are one step closer to that goal after appointing PEC,” the President said.
Full Article: Garowe Online –.