Following Somaliland’s third presidential election on 13 November 2017, the 60-member mission, funded by Britain’s government and drawing on members from 27 countries is now finalizing its interim report to Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission as observers return to Hargeisa. Says chief observer Dr. Michael Walls of the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at University College London (UCL) and Somaliland Focus UK: “On election day, we are pleased to have observed a poll that in the main seems to have preserved the integrity of the electoral process. While we are aware of some key concerns, these do not seem to be substantive and systematic enough to have undermined the election itself, and we congratulate Somaliland on a largely peaceful process; another progressive step in their electoral evolution.”
On polling day, observers witnessed opening, voting and closing processes in approximately 350 polling stations across Somaliland’s six regions, as well as the tallying process.
Observers noted that polls largely opened and closed on time, in a generally calm environment, with peaceful voting, and no major violence or intimidation observed.
Eligible voters were mostly able to cast their votes without hindrance. Domestic observers and party agents were present and able to perform their duties without restrictions in most polling stations visited, although we note that there were occasions when observers were denied entry or asked to leave.