29 June 2013

Somalia: Puntland Political Associations Hold Massive Public Rallies

Garowe — Political associations registered with the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC) have began holding massive public rallies in Puntland's major cities, Garowe Online reports.

Puntland political associations supporters hold massive public rallies across major cities

The public rallies commenced on June 27, when Wadajir political association held public rallies in Garowe and Bossaso, while UDAD political association held similar public rallies on June 28 in Garowe, Bossaso, Galkayo and other towns.

On June 29, Horseed political association consisting of the ruling party in Puntland held its public rallies in Bossaso, Garowe, Galkayo, and Badhan, among other cities.

Thousands of people gathered in peaceful public rallies across Puntland's cities, showcasing support for the different political associations competing for District Council elections slated for July 15.

Puntland government statement supports elections

A press release issued by Puntland government on June 29 noted the government's willingness to support democratic elections in Puntland.

According to the statement, the Puntland government "encourages peaceful public rallies organized by the different Registered Political Associations in major urban centers."

Continuing, the statement read: "The Government reaffirms its strong commitment to rule of law and orderly elections, and calls upon the law-abiding citizens of Puntland to demonstrate to Somalia and to the world the peace- loving nature of the Puntland people, by attending peaceful public rallies and voting in District Council Elections peacefully next month."

The statement appreciated the international community's support to Puntland elections, while encouraging independent media to "promote peaceful exercise of democratic practice" and encouraging the political associations to "use government-run Puntland State Radio for public outreach".

Puntland is scheduled to hold "first-ever District Council elections" whereby four registered political associations will compete for "over 700 seats across Puntland" on July 15, followed by parliamentary elections later 2013.

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