Somaliland247's Blog

December 3, 2012

AFP- Polls in Somaliland ‘transparent’: international observers

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 11:15 pm
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AFP: Polls in Somaliland ‘transparent’: observers



NAIROBI — Local elections in the self-declared nation of Somaliland were “largely peaceful and transparent”, international observers said Monday, but noted concern at “weaknesses in safeguards against multiple voting.”

Council elections across the northern Somali region, a rare area of relative stability compared to war-torn southern Somalia, took place on November 28, with over 2,300 candidates contesting for 379 positions.

“We can cautiously report many positives,” the report read from the 50-strong international team of observers, organised by the British aid agency Progressio.

“Election campaigning appears to have been competitive and pluralistic, with seven different parties and associations fielding candidates.”

However, the team said there were some concerns, the most serious being an “absence of a voter registry, and weaknesses in related safeguards”.

That included inadequate indelible ink used to stain fingers of those who voted, making polling “vulnerable to multiple voting.”

Results are due in coming days, with the observers to release a further statement after that.

Somaliland, a former British protectorate, won independence in 1960 but days later joined with Somalia. In 1991, after years of bitter war with the government in Mogadishu, it declared independence from the rest of the country.

While anarchic southern Somalia has been riven by years of fighting between multiple militia forces, Somaliland has enjoyed relative peace.



April 16, 2010

Somaliland finally prepares presidential polls

Filed under: NEWS,SOMALILAND ELECTION — somaliland247 @ 4:48 pm
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16 April – The National Electoral Commission in the Republic of Somaliland finally is ready to organise the country’s second presidential elections in June this year, two years late.

According to a brief news release by the government in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission has presided over a meeting with the countries political parties, agreeing on the last details for holding the twice postponed presidential elections.

During the meeting, Somalilander political parties signed the code of conduct for the upcoming presidential election. Representatives from President Dahir Riyale Kahin’s ruling UDUB party agreed with the main opposition party Kulmiye and other opposition parties.

The electoral commission presided the meeting that slated the presidential elections to be held in June 2010 “after registration of voters list is completed and new voter identification cards are issued,” according to the government release.

Somaliland organised its first presidential elections in April 2003. The poll, which was deemed both free and fair by international observers, ended in one of the closest poll races ever seen in Africa. President Riyale won the wote with 42.08 percent of the poll, followed by Kulmiye’s candidate receiving 42.07 percent of votes.

President Riyale’s term ended in 2008, but as the electoral commission was not able to organise a nation-wide poll at that state, the Hargeisa parliament agreed to exend his term by one year. Last year, parties agreed to organise elections in September, but again the term of President Riyale had to be extended because voter lists were not ready.

Now, however, the under-funded National Electoral Commission has announced it is close to finishing the electoral preparations. It has established an electronic voter registration system and has started issuing voting registration cards to citizens.

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