On Thursday, Puntland election front-runner Mohamoud Khalif Hassan who is the heavy favourite to win Puntland’s presidential election kicked off his campaign in Garowe, the capital of the autonomous region (Northeast Somalia).
Huge crowds have lined the streets of the capital of Puntland to welcome the 53-year-old businessman. His arrival is likely to trigger an intense new phase of political manoeuvring in the region, which is due to hold presidential elections in January.
The businessman known as “Jebiye” kicked off his presidential bid vowing to use his skills and success as a businessman to fight for the change that so many Puntlanders hunger for this election year.
“I would like to thank the people, the elders and the soldiers for their warm welcome…Our country is currently facing many difficulties; tribal conflicts, drought and political turmoils, I am calling for all sides to find peaceful solutions,” he said.
Jebiye says his first priority is creating economic reforms and jobs, adding “…without economic reform it will be difficult for our people to survive, as a businessman I have invested in this country, but without a real good governance it will be difficult to fight the corruption and attract foreign investments..”.
He says he will increase the salary for the security sector and public services if elected.
In the coming days, the candidate is expected to tour the major cities in the region.