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PRESS RELEASE: Puntland Government Suspends Local Council Elections

The President of Puntland State of Somalia H.E. Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Farole), in lengthy consultations with the Vice President, Parliament Speaker, Council of Ministers and National Security Council members, Chairman of Transitional Puntland Election Commission (TPEC), and prominent members of civil society, has issued the following decision regarding the suspension of Local Council Elections scheduled for tomorrow, Monday July 15, 2013.

The President:

Having valued the paramount responsibility of the Puntland Government leadership to safeguard the security, stability and unity of the people of Puntland State;

Having seen the destructive forces of instability and terrorism using as a tool the Local Council Elections, to organize behind the common cause of destroying Puntland State’s unity and stability;

Having recognized the Puntland Government’s committed efforts to implement the democratization process, including many achievements and milestones reached so far;

Having considered the domestic spoilers and external manipulators funding and organizing instability and election violence in Puntland State;

Having recognized the existential threat to peace, security and stability for the people of Puntland State;

Having valued the Puntland people’s aspirations for good governance, peace, and justice;

Puntland hereby suspends the Local Council Elections scheduled for tomorrow July 15. In light of this difficult decision, Puntland Government would like to express its utmost appreciation for the enthusiastic public support for the democratization process, and the Government assures the public the Government is committed to advancing the Democratization Process and holding elections, when it is appropriate.

Puntland would like to express its thanks and appreciation to the international community who have been supporting this democratization process, where many successful steps have been completed over the past decade, until this stage and Puntland is confident the support will continue in the years to come.

The Government calls upon the peace-loving Puntland communities and the Government Forces to protect their unity, security, and stability and against the destructive forces of aggression aiming to destroy the peace in Puntland.

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