NewsEast & Horn AfricaPuntland governance system sparks hope for Somalia


Posted on Thursday, 09 January 2014 11:29

Puntland governance system sparks hope for Somalia

By Konye Obaji Ori

(Right) Former Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, has emerged as Puntland's president-elect. (Left)  Somali president, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. Photo©ReutersSomalia's central government and foreign governments advocating for a free federal political system in Somalia have held Puntland up as a possible model, after the autonomous nation oversaw free and fair elections this week.


Former Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, emerged as Puntland's president-elect with 33 votes.

Western governments have urged Puntland to form a unified government with the United Nations-backed government in Somalia's capital Mogadishu in order to create a federal Somali state.

We encourage both the new Puntland administration and the federal government of Somalia to work together

"The election is a positive for the democratisation process.

"Now the president-elect can focus on defusing tensions between the different groups of supporters," Michele Cervone d'Urso, European Union special envoy to Somalia told Reuters.

The United States also expressed its admiration of the autonomous nation and believes the country can rejoin the larger nation of Somalia following its impressive administration of democracy.

"The United States views this election as a hopeful step towards a strengthened federal state for Somalia," Will Stevens, the State Department's Africa spokesman said in a statement.

"We encourage both the new Puntland administration and the federal government of Somalia to work together to outline a path forward for Puntland to join the federal system."

The autonomous nation at the tip of the Horn of Africa is believed to be rich in raw energy resources and Ali has vowed to continue progress towards democratisation, and to promote the rights and well-being of Puntland's people.

Ali campaigned against against corruption and insecurity in the relatively peaceful Somali region with about 4 million people.

"I promise progress and peace for Puntland in the coming five years, let's all work together in improving the security and development," Ali said after his victory.

The United States commended outgoing leader Abdirahman Sheikh Mohamed Farole for holding the elections in a timely and peaceful manner.

Puntland spans the north of Somalia and has largely fared better than Somalia, and its elections had set a benchmark for peaceful elections for the rest of the war torn country.

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