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Somaliland Holds Successful Presidential Election


LONDON, 13 November - The Somaliland Mission to the UK is happy to report on the joyous occasion of Somaliland’s presidential election today, its sixth nationwide vote. People across all of Somaliland’s six regions turned out in their hundreds of thousands to make their voices heard and exercise their democratic right.

Somaliland has a strong democratic spirit, which today’s events have yet again demonstrated. There have been reports of people peacefully waiting to vote from the early hours of the morning, in some places standing in line for up to four hours to cast their vote. Many marked stones in order to reserve their place in the queue after midnight, showing just how eager many Somalilanders are to cast their vote. Somalilanders also supported each other despite today’s high temperatures, with people volunteering to provide water to voters regardless of party affiliation.

Throughout the day, there has been widespread praise for the peaceful way in which Somalilanders conducted themselves, and for the smooth functioning of the voting process. Early reports also suggest that the election was a success for Somaliland’s ground-breaking biometric voting system, which prevented people from voting more than once. Further and more detailed reporting will come from Somaliland’s election observers, including local observers, the international election observation mission, which brought a team of 60 from at least 24 countries, and representatives of the international community, many of whom commented during the day on the peaceful and democratic manner in which the election was held.

Somalilanders will now wait to see who emerges the winner of the election. Whichever of the three candidates prevails, there will be a transfer of power, as incumbent president Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silaanyo is stepping down - a unique and unprecedented event for east Africa.

Ayan Mahamoud, Somaliland’s Representative to the United Kingdom, said:

“It was wonderful to be part of a celebration of democracy today as Somalilanders voted. Of course, today isn’t the first time that Somalilanders have done this; Somaliland is known across the world for its democracy, and we are proud to live up to that reputation. I also want to thank our men and women in uniform, who keep us safe and secure at this crucial time for our country. Now is the time for the international community to sit up and take notice of Somaliland’s independence. Today has proven that Somaliland is peaceful, stable, democratic and responsible. It’s time for the international community to recognise Somaliland.”

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