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Somaliland: Elections A Success

ISSUE 194
Front Page
Index

Headlines

Names Of The First 50 Candidates Declared ‎Winners In The Sept 29 Parliamentary Elections

United States Welcomes Elections In Somaliland

Somaliland: Elections A Success

EU To Undertake Study Of Ethio-Somaliland Corridor

Finnish Observation Team: Somaliland ‎Elections Competitive And Support Democracy

Somaliland Says Infiltrator Exposed Terrorists

Somalilanders Battle For Independence

Finnish Observation Team: Somaliland ‎Elections Competitive And Support Democracy

Somaliland Says Infiltrator Exposed Terrorists

Somalilanders Battle For Independence

Awdalnews Editorial: Remembering Annalena ‎Tonelli As The Epitome Of Human Pride

U.S. State Department Hosts Bird Flu Meeting For 65 Nations

Local & Regional Affairs

Somaliland Elections Peaceful, Say Observers

Borama People Commemorate The 2nd ‎Anniversary Of Annalena Tonelli's Death

Somalia Problems Occasioned By Absence ‎Of Islamic Shari'ah Islamic Body‎

'How Pirates Hijacked US'‎

ADB To Loan 56 Million Dollars For ‎Ethio-Djibouti Electric Line

30 Die In Somalia Land Clashes

International News

Range Wins Rights To Land Of Punt

UN Condemns Killing Of Staff Member

UN Mission To Puntland On Toxic Waste ‎In The Coastal Areas Of Somalia

She Knows Somali,‎ Italian Or Irish, Newcomers Are Us

Somali Allegedly Hits Compatriot With ‎Broken Bottle

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Entrepreneurship Thrives In An Enabling Culture

Nursing Wounds, Somali ‎Enclave Dreams Of Nationhood

An Old Social Tradition Produces Helping Hands

People

 

Editorial & Opinions

The Regrettable Absence Of The UN

A Study Of The Psychology Of A Nomadic ‎Society And Its Implications For Somaliland

An Old Social Tradition Produces Helping Hands


Hargeysa, Somaliland, Oct 5, 2005 (The Catholic Institute for International Relations ‘CIIR’) – A team of ‎experts sent to observe the first-ever parliamentary elections in the internationally unrecognized country of ‎Somaliland has concluded that the poll on 29 September was conducted in a reasonably free and fair ‎manner, with committed and enthusiastic citizen participation, despite challenging circumstances and the ‎need for improvements.‎
The team, comprising 76 international observers from four continents, was brought together by international ‎development agency the Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR), which also observed the 2002 ‎local elections. This time, CIIR worked closely with other organizations from South Africa, the United States ‎and Scandinavia, as well as a team of local observers on the ground. Somalilander Mohammed Dualeh, ‎whose parents left the country before he was born, played a key role in the mission in his first visit to the ‎country.‎
After covering more than a third of the 982 polling stations across Somaliland in one day, the team is now ‎considering the conclusions and recommendations to be made in its report to the National Electoral ‎Commission (NEC), which invited CIIR to facilitate the mission. Preliminary conclusions include that: the ‎campaign was mainly peaceful despite Somaliland's war-torn history; three political parties were able to ‎present their platforms in competitive fashion, although policy manifestos left little to distinguish them from ‎one another; local civil society contributed greatly to the process; and that women participated to a high ‎level, although CIIR was disappointed to note that out of 246 candidates, only seven were female.‎
There is scope for improvement, however. There were complaints that the parties did not strictly adhere to ‎the NEC's campaigning rules, as well as allegations of misuse of government funds and media networks by ‎the ruling UDUB party. And although measures were taken to eliminate multiple voting, ensure voter ‎confidentiality and remove scope to influence vote choices, there were still problems on these fronts. A lack ‎of resources and training gaps put pressure on both election staff and voters, and clear gaps in rule ‎enforcement and security were identified. The vote counting process, although often conducted ‎conscientiously, seemed particularly problematic. ‎
However, pending results, CIIR concludes the conduct of the poll to be good news for Somaliland's nation-‎building process. Dr Steve Kibble, CIIR Advocacy Coordinator for Africa and Yemen and joint coordinator of ‎the mission, said: 'We wish to congratulate NEC and Somalilanders in general on their enthusiasm and ‎commitment to their democratic process. We know there were many obstacles to overcome and inevitably ‎with these first-ever parliamentary elections, there were some difficulties. We would urge in particular that ‎the lack of women candidates - the majority of the population and from all accounts the majority of voters - ‎be urgently addressed.'‎
The team of observers was funded by the British Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and led by Dr Kibble and ‎Dr Adan Abokor, CIIR Country Representative for Somaliland. ‎
The team expects to be able to release a report on the conduct of the campaign in the near future. ‎Furthermore, a report on the elections overall will be written and launched in Hargeisa and London before ‎the end of this year. ‎

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