Somalilandsun: Of the NEC registered 1,065,847 only 724, 077, a third of ballots were cast during in the Somaliland polls of 2021.
This was during the country’s first joint parliamentary and local Councils elections held on the 31st May 2021
The ballots cast in the elections was from the 1,065,847 voters registered by the national elections commission-NEC nationwide
NEC is credited with a diligent performance that saw new voters registered, lost voting cards replaced and change of polling station for those interested effected
But the hype over an expected huge turnout did not materialize as only 658,687 voters cast their ballots out of the registered 1,065,847.
This anomaly us inexplicable yet since only two polling stations in Hudun district had polls scrapped due to fears of inter-clan Violence.
Upon our query an of the electoral body said that with initial focus being on the votes cast, now concluded, NEC shall release full official figures
Image below indicates number of registered voters per region, ballots cast and the huge , a third, difference.
Empirically the increase in number of polling stations from 1642 I in 2017 presidential elections to the over 2700 in 2021 which entailed relocation of voters , is of concern.
In almost all polling stations nationwide a large number of voters who had queued for hours , ended uupon registered here thus send elsewhere to begin the process. Many of them tired and disappointed opted not to vote.
The number of the disillusioned isn’t that big to totally account for the almost half a million votes not casted .
voter registered, ballots cast and not cast per region is summarised as
Region Registered Voted Absent
Maroodijeeh 400,379 253,456 156, 923
TOGHDEER 205, 591 137, 341 68,250
SANAAG 111, 623 752, 56 36,367
SOOL 103, 833. 63, 179 40,653
AWDAL 145,919 90,321 55,598
SAHIL 98,593 65,768 32, 768
Despite the low turnout women as usual cast the highest, 47% in the elections that denied a Female candidate for MP votes, and only three women councilors from over 500 seats.
Maybe it was the effects of various challenges including a famine, locust invasion and the COVID-19 pandemic
But the fact withstanding the third of voter turnout saw 246 and 500+ candidates sponsored by three political parties vie for the 82 and 249 parliamentary and local Councils seats respectively.
The polls which was observed by over 100 international observers did not only see Opposition Wadani and UCID parties dislodge ruling Kulmiye but were acclaimed as free, fair and credible
All in all the elections did not only conclude with ruling Kulmiye party losing its majority in parliament and most local governments, they underscored the President Bihi democratic legacy.
According to the Brenthurst foundation’s organized international Somaliland Elections MONITORING Mission, the parliamentary and local Councils elections of 31st May were FREE, FAIR & CREDIBLE
Official NEC list of registered voters in the 28 electoral districts of Somaliland 2021