27 January 2013

Somalia: After Bossaso Trip, Puntland President Returns to Garowe

Garowe — The president of Somalia's Puntland government Abdirahman Mohamed Farole returned to the capital Garowe on Sunday, after spending over two months in Karkar and Bari regions, Garowe Online reports.

The president's motorcade arrived in Garowe around 7pm local time and was welcomed by Puntland Vice President Gen. Abdisamad Ali Shire, Cabinet ministers and parliamentarians, among others.

President Farole did not address the media and the delegation was ushered to the State House in Garowe.

Trip to Bossaso

President Farole and a government delegation left Garowe on Nov. 23, 2012, and headed to the port city of Bossaso. The president spent a week in Qardo, capital of Karkar region, where he held meetings with local officials, community elders, and representatives from different districts.

The president also officially opened the new prison in Qardo.

In Bossaso, President Farole met with members of the business community and expressed the government's commitment to completing Bossaso International Airport. On Jan. 8, the president revealed that the airport's tarmac runway would be built with a donation from Italy and contribution from the government and private sector in Puntland, in a public-private partnership.

While in Bossaso, President Farole also frequented meetings with community elders and prominent citizens, addressed university students, received foreign delegations, and traveled to Djibouti and back. Puntland officials tell Garowe Online that President Farole met with Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Ghelle while in Djibouti, as well as U.S. and Ethiopian senior officials.

U.S. Special Representative to Somalia Amb. James Swan visited President Farole in Bossaso on Jan. 10, 2013, with the officials discussing security issues, humanitarian programs, and the democratization process in Puntland.

Democratization process in Puntland

President Farole says he is leading Puntland towards multiparty political system. On April 18, 2012, the Puntland constitution was adopted at by a constituent assembly and supported Puntland's titled elders.

Between Sept. 11 and Dec. 31, 2012, six political associations were legally registered with the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC).

In May 2013, the political associations are expected to compete the multiparty local elections to be held in Puntland since the state's formation in 1998.

The three political associations with most votes in local elections become the three official political parties of Puntland, in accordance with the Puntland constitution.

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