Garowe (SD) – The United Nations envoy to Somalia James Swan and a delegation from the European Union, the African Union and Sweden’s Ambassador to Somalia Per Lingarde met with Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni in Garowe today.
“I would like to begin by thanking President Said Abdullahi Deni and his team for the warm welcome provided to the members of our visiting delegation today. Today’s visit is the latest Somalia’s international partners have had with the country’s Federal Member State leaders, and it reflects our regular contact and cooperation as we collectively seek to support Somalia on its path to greater stability.” Swan said in a released statement.
Speaking to the media in Garowe after the meeting, the UN envoy praised Puntland for the partial local elections, and the election of members of the federal upper house in Garowe.
“We commend the TPEC, the government and people of Puntland for their steadfast determination to hold direct elections, as enshrined in Puntland’s Constitution. If completed successfully, these direct local elections would be an important step in showing the feasibility of ‘one person, one vote’ elections in today’s Somalia. On the matter of federal elections, we welcomed Puntland’s completion of the Upper House elections.” Swan said in a released statement.
Meanwhile, James Swan said the international community is concerned about the rift between Somali leaders and could effect the country’s electoral process.
“We also discussed the urgency of proceeding to the next stage of the federal elections, for the House of the People. We shared the international community’s concern about the risks that ongoing political disputes between national leaders may pose to the process.” Swan said.
Adding “One important theme that is common to both local, direct elections and national elections is that of women’s participation. It is vital that these processes respect the right of women to participate fully in all aspects of public life, and that the minimum quota of 30 per cent women’s representation is achieved in the House of the People elections.”
James Swan’s statement comes as talks between Farmajo and Roble, brokered by Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Mursal and Galmudug President Ahmed Qoor-Qoor, have broken down.
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