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Somaliland goes to the polls tomorrow

By Jacob Ng'etich | May 30th 2021
Somaliland Ambassador Bashe Awil Hajj Omar [Facebook]

Over a million voters will today pick their leaders in the civic and parliamentary elections in Somaliland.

Though internationally still considered to be part of Somalia, Somaliland has been independent for the last 30years after it self-declared sovereign state in the Horn of Africa.

The country of 4 million people came into being following the collapse of the late President Siad Barre regime in 1991 as leaders of the Somali National Movement (SNM) broke away from Somali and declared their independence.

Measuring 176,120 square kilometres, Somaliland with its commercial and capital city being Hargeisa, borders Djibouti to the northwest, Ethiopia to the South and west, and Somalia to the east.

According to Somaliland Ambassador to Kenya Bashe Awil Hajj Omar, the country has held free and fair and election every five years.

"Unlike other countries in the Horn of Africa, Somaliland has held periodic elections that are credible every five years, it's only in 2003 and 2010 when we had to push elections to be done after seven years, but all of them have been free and fair," said Omar.

The ambassador said Omar said that the elections are 80 per cent of the total cost of the election, while European Union and Taiwan will finance the 20 per cent.

The cost of the election will be sh2.5billion (25million USD).

The Ambassador polls will take place in all that will take place in the six regions of Awdal, Sahil, Maroodi-Jeeh, Toghdeer, Sanaag and Sool.

"They voters will be choosing 82 parliamentarians and 249 civic leaders in free and fair polls," said Omar. 

Ambassador said Somaliland thrives in democratic ideals that have informed the running of government a matter that has led to peace and stability in the country.

"In April 2003 in a presidential election the winner Dahir Rayale Kahin beat his close challenger Hamed Silanyo with only 80 votes and the loser conceded defeat. This is something that most African countries can emulate Somaliland for," said Omar.

Ambassador Omar noted Somaliland was also a thriving economy and invited Kenyans and nationals from other African countries to invest in the country because of its stability.

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