Historic moment – Puntland launched “Constitution for Peace”
February 15, 2012
It was a historic day for Puntland as it launched its new constitution. On the 8th February, the President of Puntland, H.E. Abdurahman Mohamed Mohamoud (Farole), welcomed local and international delegations to witness the ceremonial launch of the revised constitution.
Speaking at the event, Ms Valentina Auricchio, representing the European Union (EU), hailed the constitution as a “Constitution for Peace.” She went on to say: “We appreciate the constitution-making process that Puntland has undertaken through a charter, then a provisional constitution…and now, a revised constitution based on democratic principles.” Further describing the process she stated “it is a demonstration of broad-based representation and inclusivity principles.”
The EU has been supporting the review process of the constitution, along with Sweden and Denmark, through a donor coordination body known as the ‘Democratization Steering Committee’ and has been working through Interpeace.
The United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), and representatives from Italy, Denmark, Norway and the ‘Democratization Steering Committee’ joined the international delegations along with the Chairman of the Independent Federal Constitutional Commission, the State Minister for the Constitution and Federal Affairs of Puntland Dr. Abdi Hassan Jimale, all the Ministers of the Puntland cabinet, the Speaker of the Puntland Parliament Hon. Abdirashid Mohammed Hersi, the chairman of the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC), Mohamed Hassan Barre, and the members of the Interim Federal Constitution Committee(IFCC), at the Conference Hall of Puntland Development Research Center (PDRC). PDRC is Interpeace’s local partner in the region and has been working in Puntland to enable lasting peace since 1998. All participants agreed that the event represented a milestone in the democratization process in Somalia.
The international and national representatives were joined by more than 200 participants from all levels and sectors of society such as traditional elders (known as Isimo in Puntland), prominent religious leaders, women and youth organizations, minority groups, representatives of the diaspora and the business community.
President Abdulrahman Mohamed Mohamoud (Farole), during his speech, emphasized his commitment to the constitutional and democratization process, the establishment of a permanent Puntland Electoral Commission (PEC), the distribution of the constitution into the rural areas and the opening of a multi-party system.
Johan Svensson, Interpeace’s Regional Director for Eastern and Central Africa, and Abdurahman Abdulle Osman (Shuke), Director of PDRC share their impressions of the event: “This is a key moment for Puntland. The Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission has managed, in a short time, to deliver an important corner stone for the future democratic development of Puntland.”
The ceremony concluded with the official announcement of the Puntland Constitution by the president: “I hereby declare the constitution for Puntland launched for the people to adopt or reject.”