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Abdishakur launches manifesto as campaigns for Somalia President gears up

Abdishakur announced his candidacy for Somali president in June/FILE

Abdishakur announced his candidacy for Somali president in June/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23- As Somalia prepares to conduct a Presidential election on October 30, one of the leading candidates, Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, who is the flag bearer of Wadajir Party, on Thursday launched the first political manifesto that addresses a wide range of issues in Somalia.

Abdirahman Abdishakur, a former Planning and International Cooperation Minister and Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General (UNSRSG) to Somalia also launched his presidential campaign, promising to make Somalia self-reliant and put it on path for political stability, security and recovery.

“With the Electoral Commission having announced a tentative date of October 25, 2016 for the Presidential election, there is another opportunity for Somalia, and its international partners to take up the opportunity and create a self-sustaining nation.”

“Our struggle has now reached a definitive stage, in which there is need to implement radical socio-economic transformation to meaningfully address insecurity, poverty and unemployment amongst other social ills,” said Abdishakur while unveiling his manifesto, which he said would be based on Iskutashi, a vision premised on transformation of Somalia into a prosperous, self-reliant economy.

After extensive consultation with key stakeholders and local communities in Somalia, the former minister made his announcement in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, laying out a vision to match his incoming campaign slogan, ‘Make Somalia Self-reliant.’

Abdishakur announced his candidacy for Somali president in June.

The enthusiasm amongst the crowd and invited guests who turned out to listen to the former minister who played a key role in facilitating Djibouti’s political agreement in 2008, which sought the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia thus paving way for a comprehensive political settlement in Somalia was both a sign of his overwhelming success in diplomacy and promise of a better country.

Abdishakur said that Somalia had lost a lot of opportunities because of wanton corruption in government and promised to put an end to the practice.

He added that the Al Shabaab has been able to exploit the failures of the current government to consolidate control, establish local administrations, provide security and build public trust.

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The combination of weak institutions and governance structures, low absorption capacity and inflows of foreign aid, he said, had conspired to provide high opportunities for corruption and abuse, with relatively low risks of being caught and adequately punished.

“Under framework of “Iskutashi” we will do our utmost and urgently prioritize the war on corruption. Affront on corruption will rest on the twin pillars of strengthening enforcement and reducing opportunities. Specific actions include the establishment of an anti-corruption policy and legal framework.

“We will also develop a strategy to implement the policy to help with enforcement of the legislation. The anti-corruption strategy will guide institutional building to control corruption,” said Abdishakur.

He promised to put forward a strong, ambitious national economic plan to aid Somalia’s economic growth and social infrastructure.

He said the transformation would be driven by solid regulatory frameworks and expressed optimism it would have great potential to unlock and revive the country’s traditionally resourceful sectors.

Abdishakur regretted the two decades civil war, which he said had led to the destruction of the country’s basic infrastructure and public institutions and promised to institute measures to aid recovery.

He also pledged to improve public service, infrastructure, education, health services and food security.

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