President of Puntland, Said Abdullahi Deni, confirms unwavering commitment to democratic governance and upcoming elections in a landmark address during the inaugural session of the 53rd House of Representatives today.
Garowe, Puntland, SOMALIA.
In his speech, President Deni recalled the legislative and executive endorsement of the government program for 2019/2024 during the 44th session of the House. This program has served as a significant yardstick for governmental accountability and set the stage for the realisation of a democratic governance model—a long-cherished aspiration for the Puntland region since its establishment more than a quarter-century ago.
To actualise this democratic vision, the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC) was constituted during the government’s initial year in office. Under its oversight, local council elections were successfully conducted across 33 districts in various regions, including Mudug, Nugaal, Karkaar, Sanaag, Bari, Hayland, and Raasaseer.
President Deni underscored the vital role of government councils, political parties, social organisations, and the citizenry at large in facilitating a successful electoral process. He also emphasised the independence and the critical function of the Puntland Electoral Commission (PEC), encouraging the offering of advice and best practices to ensure a transparent and efficient electoral process.
Parliament’s commitment to democracy
In no uncertain terms, President Deni affirmed the government’s complete readiness to conduct the constitutional elections as scheduled. He called upon aspiring candidates for both the House of Representatives and the Presidency to have unwavering faith in the democratic process, to adhere strictly to electoral rules and the constitution, and to abstain from any actions that could impede the democratic rights of Puntland’s citizens.
In a show of gratitude, President Deni lauded the House of Representatives for their integral role in amending the Puntland constitution, thereby fostering greater closeness between the government and the citizenry. He extolled the Members of Parliament for ceding their electoral powers over the Presidency and Vice Presidency as a testament to their commitment to democracy.
President Deni also subtly cautioned against any actions that external entities could take, specifically mentioning the Mogadishu government, that might jeopardise the tranquillity and stability essential for the conduct of these historic elections.
Electoral timetable released
These pronouncements by President Deni are especially pertinent following the release of the electoral timetable by the Puntland Electoral Commission (PEC), which confirmed that the Presidential and House of Representatives elections will proceed as planned on 25 February 2024.
As the crucial election date draws nearer, Puntland will experience an escalated level of political activities and civic involvement. The collective endeavours of the government, electoral bodies, and society at large will be pivotal in guaranteeing an election characterised by integrity, transparency, and fairness, culminating in a democratic transition of power in Puntland.