As part of Puntland State’s preparations for upcoming local council elections scheduled for May 2013 and the continuation of its overall democratization process, the Democratization Programme Steering Committee (DSC) – a group of seven donors (the European Union, Denmark, DFID, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and USAID) – organised a mission today to Garowe in order to meet Puntland State officials, the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission, and other stakeholders such as civil society.
The mission expressed the international community’s continued interest in support for Puntland’s democratisation process and its appreciation for progress made thus far in the registration of six political associations. The DSC is looking forward to the further widening of the political space over the coming weeks as political associations begin to select their candidates and move into the campaign period, and as Puntland’s civil society and media ramp up civic education and voter awareness efforts.
During the meeting with Puntland officials, the DSC team reaffirmed donor commitment to supporting Puntland’s first-ever elections under which the Puntland people will elect their council and parliamentary leaders. The DSC discussed how best Puntland could advance the process while ensuring full ownership and long-term sustainability.
Finally, the DSC team discussed the administration’s approach to ensuring a safe and open environment for the forthcoming elections, including the development of a security plan and allowing space for media freedom and for peaceful opposition and demonstration, which are essential elements of any genuine democratization effort.
The DSC and its partners stand ready to further assist Puntland State and Puntland stakeholders in advancing a true, democratic process that could stand as a model for other regions in the Federal Republic of Somalia. END
Frequently asked questions
1. What is the DSC?
The Democratization Programme Steering Committee (DSC) is a group of seven donors (EU, Denmark, DFID, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and USAID) that is currently co-chaired by the European Union (EU) and the United States. Today’s mission was led by EU Special Envoy to Somalia Michele Cervone d’Urso.
2. What’s the DSC’s mandate?
The DSC monitors and supervises the on-going democratisation processes in Somalia through technical and financial support to the independent bodies in charge of the organisation of the electoral processes such as NEC in Somaliland and TPEC in Puntland.