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Somaliland: An Exemplary Exercise in Democratic Election

WardheerNews editorial

Somaliland has once again proved that it has what it takes to showcase democratic election of one-man one vote. This time, it did it with a class.

On November 13, 2017, the breakaway state of Somaliland embarked on a highly watched mission- to carry out the 3rd time, a democratic election of its fifth president in 25 years that it had claimed to have separated from Somalia.

Despite a contentious campaign by the two leading candidate from Kulmiye and Wadani parties, the result of the campaign were certified by a vigilant and responsible Election Commission headed by Abdulkadir Iman Warsame.

Mr. Warsame announced the election results as follows:

UCID party:  23,141 votes, 4.17%.

WADANI party: 226, 092 votes, 40.73%.

KULMIYE party:  305,909 votes, 55.19%

According to election observers “more than 700,000 voters registered to cast their votes at more than 16,000 polling stations across Somaliland amid tight security.  Moreover, any potential irregularities in the process were minimized by using iris-scan biometric technology – this was the first time ever used in the African continent whose political culture has been résistent to free and fair elections since the 1960s”.

Within seven days after the conclusion of the election process, on November 21, 2017, an exemplary fair and free election declared the Kulmiye candidate, Muse Bihi, a former member of the leadership of Somali National Movement (SNM) and a veteran of the now defunct Somali National army. His challenger who won 40.7% of the votes conceded his defeat despite some lingering grudges that he said he still carries about the loss.

Today, social scientist can comfortably argue that Somaliland is the most democratic entity in the Horn of Arica, that is if one uses elections as the unit of measurement. Somaliland has  democratically changed its president five times in 25 years, each having complete a five-year term and then being replaced democratically. No country in the region can boast this impressive record.

Thanks to an undeniable political maturity shown by Somaliland, WardheerNews takes this moment to  \recognize this feat and unreservedly congratulates to President-elect Muse Bihi and his challenger Abdirahman Ciro.

We hope other political entities in the  region may learn one or more lessons from Somaliland.


Read  more editorials from WDN archives

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