Somaliland: International Observers Hail Peaceful Municipal Elections


Somaliland Foreign Minister Dr M A Omar casting his vote By: Dr Mohamed A Omar

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The IEO—International Election Observers have noted that overall Somaliland’s first municipal elections for local councils since 2002, were peaceful. The commission said it will take about a week from the election day of November 28th before final results are announced. Reporter Ali Ismail described the day after voting as calm. He said voter turnout was high, and he remarked that it appears more women voted than men.

In this part of the world women are more concerned about the well-being of the nation because mostly they have a lot of responsibility for [their] families. They are more committed than men,” explained Ismail.

Ismail said these particular elections are significant because they help to dispel the world’s perception of Somaliland as a place with “gun-toting children and violence.” InstApart from maintaining law and order security officers also excercised their democratic rightsead, said Ismail, differences are being settled using a democratic process.

He explained the IEO noted three minor concerns. “There was multiple voting that took place, under age [voting]; and a shortage of election materials in most of the polling stations. But, generally they said it was transparent and peaceful.”

Ismail said so far there has been no reporting of election rigging or ballot stuffing. He added that the majority of the political leaders in the election have said whatever the outcome of the voting will be, they will accept it.