Musa Bihi Abdi of the ruling Kulmiye party was declared the winner of Somaliland’s presidential election on Tuesday, by the election commission of the breakaway region. Situated at the northern tip of east Africa on the Gulf of Aden – one of the busiest trade routes in the world – Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has been relatively peaceful since. The region of 4 million people has not been internationally recognized but it has recently drawn in sizeable investments from the Gulf. In the election, Abdi won just over 55 percent of the vote, while opposition leader Abdirahman Iro took nearly 41 percent, election commission chairman Iman Warsame said. Turnout was 80 percent.
Articles about voting issues in Somalia.
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.”
Somalia: Somaliland 1st in World to Use Iris Scanner Technology to Stem Voter Fraud | teleSUR English
Somaliland, a semi-autonomous region of Somalia, was the guinea pig for iris-recognition technology at a presidential poll, according to election spokesman Saed Ali Muse. The self-declared sovereign state became the first in the world to use the scanners, which is the world’s most sophisticated voting register. Somaliland’s implementation of iris recognition devices follow incidents involving duplication of voters and other alleged fraud and logistic problems dating back to the 2008 elections.
Officials began counting votes in the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland after residents today took part in its third presidential poll, hoping to bolster its democratic credentials and strengthen the case for independence from troubled Somalia. The northern territory, which is more tribally homogenous and stable than the rest of Somalia, broke away in 1991 and has been striving to attain international recognition ever since, without success. As vote tallying began shortly after 6:00 pm (1500 GMT), a social media blackout was imposed. The national electoral commission said the move was necessary to prevent interference from outside the borders of the semi-autonomous state and speculation over the outcome.
Somaliland, the self-declared republic in northwestern Somalia, has announced it will restrict access to social media sites during its upcoming presidential elections. The electoral commission has asked phone companies to block more than a dozen social media outlets in order to limit hate speech and “fake news”. It includes Facebook, Twitter,WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Duo, Google Plus, among others. The commission blamed what it called “external forces” for spreading “inciteful and tribalistic” information (in Somali) and decried its inability to control the proliferation of these messages. As a result, the sites will be down starting from when voting ends on Nov. 13 up until the results are declared.
The Electoral Commission of Somaliland called for the internet to be turned off during the Presidential Election expected to be held on 8 November 2017, Garowe Online reports. “The commission has requested for the shutdown of the Internet access across Somaliland amid fears of violence during the election period,” said an election expert, who spoke to GO over the phone. “It’s the first time that three influence candidates are vying for the Presidency,” he told GO over the phone on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the Media.
Somalia’s Supreme Court has nullified several seats of the Lower House chamber considered to be rigged during the parliamentary electoral process in the regional states last year, Garowe Online reports. A total of 8 seats were ordered for re-contest for failing to adhere to the rules of the electoral process, ruling in favor of the appellants who filed for complains against the voting results.
Celebrations have erupted on the streets of Somalia after parliamentarians elected a new president, with crowds chanting songs and firing automatic weapons into the night sky. The election of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, a 55-year-old former prime minister and dual US-Somali national with a reputation for independence and competence, has raised the hopes of millions of people in the poor and violent east African state. “I am really happy. I prayed hard. Now we have a good president. I hope he will take care of our country,” said Khadra Mohamud Ahmed, 42, from Mogadishu. Critics said the election – the most extensive and expensive democratic exercise in Somalia for decades – has entrenched divides between the country’s many traditional clans and encouraged graft. But others described it as a “way station” to political stability and full democracy. Michael Keating, the UN special representative for Somalia, described the poll as a “political process with electoral features”, and “pretty brave to do”.
After a series of delays, allegations of rampant corruption and the abandonment of a promise to return to true democratic elections, Somalia was expected to finally elect its president Wednesday. It will not be an election as the rest of the world knows it, however. Having been elected to lead the country’s first federal government since the toppling of its military dictatorship and onset of civil war in 1991, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud promised one-person, one-vote elections by 2016. They would have been the first of their kind in the country for nearly 50 years. But he announced he was abandoning the proposal in 2015 due to ongoing security concerns. Instead, the next presidential vote would be conducted via a complicated system decided by clan elders, he said. Last year, 135 clan elders began selecting the 14,025 delegates to comprise the 275 electoral colleges, each of whom began voting in October for an MP for the lower house of parliament. Together, with the 54 members of the newly created upper house chosen by Somalia’s new federal states, they will elect a speaker and a president.
Somalia’s capital Mogadishu was under security lockdown Tuesday, with roads and schools closed and residents urged to remain indoors a day before the country holds a long-delayed presidential election. Fears are high that the Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab group will seek to disrupt the election by carrying out an attack on the capital. Twin car bombs at a popular hotel left at least 28 dead two weeks ago. Heavily armed security personnel patrolled the streets of the capital, while several main roads were blocked off with sand berms and residents of the capital were urged by Mayor Yusuf Hussein Jimale to stay indoors. “My children did not go to school because of the election and my husband who works as a policeman had to stay on duty for the last three days. This thing is taking too long and people would be relieved if they could see an end to this drama,” mother-of-four Samiya Abdulkadir said.