Greetings to all! Words of appreciation to those who organized the ceremony! Greetings to all participants!
The administration’s term of office is five years. Four years are gone. I joined in the last year of its term. This is the only ministry that I am prepared to commit to under that condition. The reason is that a part of this ministry’s mandate concurs with one of my lifelong visions.
I will concentrate my effort on carrying out the vision of giving back power to the people through local council elections, which have been successfully implemented in three of Puntland’s districts. The remaining districts are scheduled to follow, and time is short. We need to finalize the process. It is a task on which the future of Puntland depends, and it is a process overdue.
The [traditional] system of governance simply was a means, not an end and successive administrations have the duty to move forward the democratic process.
We need an independent electoral commission with full autonomy, with support from both the government and the international community. We need political associations with the confidence to participate in the elections. We need civil society organizations, the media, the opposition, and everyone who has questions or doubt to be satisfied with the process. We must reassure the international community of our commitment so that they will invest in the process. As the main actor responsible for the overall coordination, the government has the role of keeping the process intact.
We will move forward and are determined to succeed with the trust and support of the public. I wish to call upon the people of Puntland to support the completion of the local government elections. Let us not fear the process. We will overcome all challenges through collective decision-making. There is no hidden agenda. The government has no interest other than the local councils’ elections to take place and give back power to the people.
We are fully committed. I am not here for the sake of gaining power or wealth. I am delighted to have by my side experienced individuals and ministers. We will work in line with the ministry’s mandate and plans. We will maintain regular internal consultation at ministry level and work as one team. The outgoing minister, who is also my friend, will continue to provide the support we need.
We are one team. Thank you!
Minister Abdi Farah Said Juha.