Garowe — Political associations in Somalia's northern autonomous region of Puntland have jointly signed a Code of Conduct to manage the electoral process in Puntland, Garowe Online reports.
The Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC) organized the event on Thursday at Puntland Development and Research Center (PDRC) in Garowe
TPEC Chairman Mohamed Hassan Barre opened the event by thanking all the representatives of the six political associations registered by TPEC.
PDRC Director Abdirahman Abdulle Shuke addressed the event, saying that Puntland is moving forward on the track of multiparty political system and democratic elections.
TPEC member Abdirizak Ahmed Shoole read the new Code of Conduct prepared by TPEC and the six political association's representatives discussed the Code before it was unanimously agreed and Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole was the first to sign, as caretaker chairman of Horseed political associations.
The Code of Conduct includes articles prohibiting the use of government resources to fund political associations, banning on supporters of different political associations to display or use weapons, and setting a Feb. 10 deadline for the six registered political associations to satisfy TPEC requirements for the second and final phase of registration.
Dr. Sadiq Enow, caretaker chairman of Midnimo political association, requested TPEC to exercise neutrality in the elections process.
On Sept. 11, 2012, the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC) declared for the first time since Puntland's inception in 1998 that political associations can be legally registered in Puntland.
On Dec. 31, 2012, TPEC officials announced that six political associations have qualified in Puntland, namely Horseed, Midnimo, Wadajir, Hor-Cad, Puntland Democratic Party (PDP), and Puntland People's Party (UDAD).
Other political associations are expected to also hold their first congress in Garowe, Bossaso and Galkayo in the coming days. Local elections are slated to be held across Puntland districts in May 2013.