31 December 2012

Somalia: 8th and 9th Puntland Political Associations Declared in Garowe

Garowe — Two more political associations have been declared in Somalia's Puntland regional autonomy, joining seven political associations that have been declared since last month, Garowe Online reports.

On Sunday, supporters declared Puntland People's Party (Somali acronym UDAD) as the eighth political association in Puntland. A well organized event was held at Aaran Hotel in Garowe and attended by association founders, intellectuals, community elders, Diaspora activists, and other members of civil society.

Said Yusuf Nur, of the founders of UDAD political association, said the association was declared because the group "believes in doing the right thing for the Puntland people and all Somalis are welcome to join our association."

UDAD political association's acting chairman, Mr. Said Farah, described to attendees of the event about UDAD principles, founding members, and structure.

"UDAD stands for Peace, Equality, Justice, and Development," Mr. Farah said, while noting that UDAD political association is wants "reform, reliable security, and economic prosperity" for Puntland.

Other event speakers encouraged UDAD founders to work for the people and to work for peace and development, while some speakers called on the Puntland government to "open dialogue" with opposition figures who have rejected the democratization process in Puntland altogether and are demanding continuation of the clan-based system.

Wadajir declared as 9th political association of Puntland

Similarly, a second event was also held Sunday in Garowe, where supporters declared Wadajir political association as the ninth political association in Puntland since Sept. 11, when the Puntland Electoral Commission announced that political associations can be legally declared in Puntland as part of the ongoing democratization process.

Mr. Abdirashid Abdi Hassan, coordinator for Wadajir political association, told the gathering that the group "stands for unity of Puntland and supports Islamic law and the Puntland constitution."

Wadajir political association's acting chairman, Mr. Abdullahi Hassan Mohamud "Spanish", spoke over the telephone speaker from his residence in Spain. Mr. Spanish highlighted the political association's aspirations, saying that Wadajir "aims to help Puntland reach its goals."

A Wadajir supporter who addressed the crowd said she is "happy to see many political associations opening up in Puntland."

On Sept. 11, Puntland Electoral Commission declared that political associations can be legally registered in Puntland, for the first time since the state's inception in 1998. On Nov. 14, Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole declared Horseed political association that will compete in upcoming local elections slated for May 2013, among other political associations.

Also in November, Puntland Democratic Party was declared in Nairobi. In December, three political associations were declared in Bossaso, namely: UGUB political association led by former Sanaag governor Mohamud Said Dabayl, HOR-CAD political association (Horumar iyo Cadaalad - Development and Justice) led by Puntland businessman Omar Ismail Waberi, and Midnimo political association led by Dr. Sadiq Enow.

Also, on Dec. 20, two more political associations named Talowadaag and GAHAYR were declared in Garowe.

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