Somalilandsun: Since six PM on 31st May every group of people meeting in every corner of Somaliland both rural and urban, the buzz world is What are the results?
This is in relation to the results of the country’s first combined parliamentary and local councils elections held on the 31st May 2021.
After standing in line for five hours under the burning sun, I am proud to say I casted my vote for the first time, and I voted for a woman!#SomalilandElections2021 pic.twitter.com/ith5AEb54n
— Sahra Abdiguray (@sahrujaaa) May 31, 2021
According to the chairman of the Somaliland national elections commission-NEC, Abdirashid Mahmud Ali AKA Riyo Raac the results shall be aannounce beginning 24 hours after polls closed
This election, which has been postponed twice in the past, will be the seventh in Somaliland since it declared independence from the rest of Somalia 30 years ago.
Hailed as the most peaceful, free and fair of the past six the polls not to mention one with the highest number of voters, candidates, electoral districts and polling stations.
Informing that though a majority of the 2,709 polling stations closed as scheduled at 6PM a few were serving voters as late as 7 pm, commissioner Riyo-raac revealed that “The extension was occasioned by the large voter turnout at some polling stations in all the six and 23 electoral regions and districts of the country.
Stressing that it was the norm to cater for all voters at the any polling station who have not cast their ballot by the designated closing time Eng Riyo-raac said that all NEC staffers were appraised on the matter during their training.
With Somalilanders used to expedited elections results announcement this time round the wait is a bit prolonged since their were two elections in one.
“While we caution against speculation and rumourmongering as to who won which seat where, citizens should wait for official results from one source only, the Somaliland National elections commission said the head of the electoral body
Though NEC says official results shall start being announced 24 hours after polls closed political parties and candidates are receiving preliminary information on how the votes were cast from their polling stations representatives.
Despite the relative calm in which the Somaliland elections 2021 were undertaken and concluded, the government stopped balloting in two polling stations in the Hudun district of Sool region.
“Though NEC had already deployed staff and materials we stopped the exercise in two polling stations in the district due to security concerns” revealed the Somaliland interior minister Mohamed Kahin Ahmed.
Adding that the security concerns were as a result of recent deadly clashes between two clans resident in the affected areas.
Justifying the move to stop voters exercising their constitutional RIGHTS THE ,THE Interior Minister said that reconciliation efforts by the government assisted by traditional elders are still ongoing
“Thus with tensions still high the government in consultation with elders feared elections in the disputed area of Hudun district could lead to resumption of clashes.
“Apart from the two in Hudun district the rest of the 2,709 polling stations saw massive voter turnout” said interior minister Mohamed Kahin Ahmed
Monitoring the Somaliland parliamentary and local Councils elections were over 100 international and 800 domestic observers, with a presence in all the six and 23 electoral regions and districts.
While the local observers were organized by SONSAF under EU funding and recruited nationwide , their foreign counterparts included a former presidents, politicians & political party leaders, journalists , academics , diplomats and prominent personalities
The foreign observers were in two missions namely the BRENTHURST FOUNDATION organized all African composed Somaliland Elections Monitoring Mission-SEMM and the other being the Limited international elections Observer Mission-LIEOM.
The 30 strong SEMM is led by Mr Erastus Mwencha, Former Deputy Chair of the AUC (Head of Delegation) and includes President Ernest Bai Koroma, Former President of Sierra Leone and The Brenthurst Foundation Director, Dr Greg Mills.
Others in the 30 strong SEMM include, Leaders of several African political parties, election experts, journalists and academics.
The LIEOM team is led by veteran Somaliland elections observer , Prof Michael Walls and comprises 12 members, pooled from Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, US and Zambia
LIEOM is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom, and organised by the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at University College London.
More about the two missions HERE
The @LIEOMSomaliland Chief Observer, Prof Michael Walls talks about the work of the independent Limited International Election Observation Mission in #Somaliland, on Election Day, 31 May 2021 #SomalilandElections2021 pic.twitter.com/thRV4EBtaw
— LIEOM Somaliland 2021 (@LIEOMSomaliland) May 31, 2021
Also in the country was a large EU delegation dubbed diplomatic mission whose presence coincided with the polls.
This is believed to be a covert election Monitoring mission due to the fact that the EU council dispatches official election observers to countries with membership at the United Nations of which Somaliland doesn’t, thus the diplomatic mission.
Somaliland Elections 2021 Facts.
1. There were 1,065,847 registered voters
2. 2,709 polling stations
3. Six electoral regions ( Member of parliament)
4. 23 electoral districts (councillors)
5. Three political parties namely Ruling Kulmiye, Opposition Wadani and UCID
6. 82 parliamentary seats at stake, contested by 246 candidates
7. 249 local councils seats contested by 552 candidates
8. Over 10,000 police officers assigned to NEC as compliment to those on regular duties
9. 800 local observers
10. 109 international observers