Puntland Democratization Process Resumes after Three Years
May 30, 2016
After three years in limbo, the democratization process in Puntland has officially resumed with the inauguration of the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC) in April 2016.
The process had stalled following the postponement of elections in 2013 elections, despite unremitting pressure from civil society and other stakeholders to move the process forward.
The nine-member TPEC was officially confirmed by the Puntland House of Representatives in an extraordinary session on 24 April 2016, marking the much awaited resumption of the Puntland Democratization Process.
Following this confirmation, Interpeace’s partner in Puntland, the Peace and Development Research Center (PDRC), worked with TPEC to organize a launch ceremony and an induction workshop for the newly endorsed commissioners.
The packed programme kicked off with PDRC Acting Director Ali Farah Ali, who laid out the important objectives of the ceremony and induction workshop. This was followed by opening remarks from the new TPEC Chairman, who highlighted the importance of all democratization stakeholders, including civil society, religious leaders, and government, to engage in the democratization process in order for it to succeed. All of these stakeholders were represented in the ceremony and enthusiastically pledged their support to the process. Later in the programme, a keynote address was delivered by Puntland Vice President Abdihakin Abdullahi Haji Omar, who emphasized the government’s commitment to supporting TPEC.
In the induction workshop for the new TPEC officials, the PDRC research team and members of the Commission examined important elements in the democratization process, including the legal framework and lessons learned from previous electoral processes. In a later interactive session, participants examined the next steps for TPEC in preparing for federal and provincial processes that will take place in the coming four years.
Interpeace and its partners have supported democratization processes in the Somali Region since 2005. These recent developments mark an important milestone in the Puntland Democratization Process, as well as in the wider Somali Democratization Process.