15 July 2012

Somalia: Puntland Elders and Representatives Prepare for Constitutional Vote

Somalia is in the process of electing its first government in 21 years. A vote must be held by August 20 when the mandate for the UN-backed ... ( Resource: Somalia Prepares for Presidential Elections )

Garowe, Somalia — Puntland's traditional elders and their representatives for the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) are getting ready to depart to Mogadishu to begin the constitutional conference, Garowe Online reports.

The UN Special Representative to Somalia, Augustine Mahiga met with Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole to discuss how to conclude the Roadmap on schedule in spite of delays in the constitutional vote.

Puntland President Dr.Farole met with UN representative Ambassador Mahiga in Garowe Photo (Garowe Online)

Ambassador Mahiga and President Farole both spoke to the press after the meeting in Garowe on Friday, a day after the constitutional vote by the 825 members of the NCA was supposed to convene in Mogadishu.

President Farole said he and Ambassador Mahiga agreed that Puntland would exert effort to speeding up the Roadmap so it is completed on schedule.

I and the Ambassador who visited us in Garowe, agreed that Puntland would assist in speeding up the process so we can move out of a transitional government," said President Farole.

The two officials also discussed the selection of a fair and representative parliament who will be chosen by the traditional elders later this month.

"Similarly we agreed that making the selection and election of the members of the new parliament as transparent, representative and democratic as possible. This is an area that we reached great unanimity," said Ambassador Mahiga.

Puntland officials who spoke to GO said that the traditional elders in Puntland had already completed and submitted their list of NCA representatives from the regions of Puntland.

However there have been delays in the selection of the NCA by traditional elders stationed in Mogadishu which was addressed by leaders.

Puntland traditional elders also Met with Mahiga Photo (Garowe Online)

Transitional Federal Government (TFG) leaders held an urgent meeting with traditional elders to request that the elders submit their selection in order to disprove reports that allege that traditional elders in Mogadishu are withholding their selection in attempt to vie for more political power.

Additional reports from Mogadishu say that many traditional elders want to amend the proposed constitution before the NCA cast their vote on it.

Despite statements by Governor of Banadir region Mahamud Ahmed (Tarzan) and traditional elders to amend the constitution before it is voted on, TFG State Minister for the Constitution Abdirahman Hoosh Jibril has repeated that the constitution will be voted on the NCA and it is their vote which will decide whether or not it will be amended.

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