June 29, 2010

Somaliland Vote Relatively Peaceful

Despite at least five deaths, the second presidential elections in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland went off “without major incident and generally met international standards,” reported the International Republican Institute (IRI), a nonprofit organization chaired by John McCain.

The Somaliland Press reported that one member of the National Electoral Commission was killed near the town of Lasa Anod. In the contested region of Hargeisa, four others died when Puntland militia attacked a polling station claimed by both Punteland, a state of Somlia, and Somaliland.

The election was a long time in coming, being delayed since 2008 when it was originally scheduled to be held, according to an IRI press statement.

Nonetheless, IRI declared the vote to be relatively well-organized with only “sporadic irregularities.” For example, in some areas voters younger than 16 (the legal voting age) were allowed to cast ballots. There were election observers from the three political parties at most voting stations.

More than 1 million of Somaliland’s 3.5 million people were registered to vote.

IRI cautions that the elections should not be judged until the process is finished and all the votes counted. In the last round of elections, back in 2003, the president won by a margin of 80 votes.

Final results are expected by the end of the week, according to Somaliland Press.

Somaliland, is a little heard of, former British colony located on the northeastern horn of Africa. It declared its autonomy from Somalia in 1991 and is seen as a haven of relative peace, compared to surrounding lawless Somalia.

Author: verified_user