By: Yusuf M Hasan
NAIROBI (Somalilandsun) – It is for international observers to determine whether the election was free and fair
This was informed by the UK high commission in Nairobi Mr. John Bradshaw during an interview with Horn newspaper and somalilandsun.com.
The British diplomat who termed the local council elections held on 28 November as a further step towards the consolidation of political participation and progress in Somaliland also raised concerns about reports of localized violence emanating from disputed election result.
Read below the full verbatim excerpts of the interview
What is the take on just concluded local council elections by the UK government?
The local council elections in Somaliland on 28 November were a further step towards the consolidation of political participation and progress in Somaliland. We are concerned by reports of localized violence and we call on all parties to respect the outcome and resolve any disputes about the results peacefully through the official mechanisms.
How does your government view the outcome of the elections?
It is for international observers to determine whether the election was free and fair. The UK remains concerned by reports from the observers of weaknesses in the safeguards to prevent multiple voting. Any reports of fraud should be thoroughly investigated and resolved by the appropriate authorities.
Following recommendations by international observers for a voter register before any future elections, is the UK willing to support with funding?
The Somaliland government will need to strengthen safeguards against multiple voting in future elections. The UK remains committed to helping them do so. Together with our international partners, we have worked with a number of institutions in Somaliland, including the National Electoral Commission (NEC), to improve the technical quality of the elections, including through training NEC officials and party agents.
Does the UK police training program in Somaliland include brutal riot control skills?
No we do not provide that form of support. But we are happy to be providing considerable support in other areas of the security and justice sectors in Somaliland. That includes strengthening the organizational and technical capacity of the Somaliland Police Force, and supporting it in its own desire to become a force focused on community security.