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Counting Of Ballot Papers Of Somaliland Parliamentary Elections Under-Way
Hargeysa, Somaliland, October 1, 2005 (SL Times) – Counting of ballot papers cast by voters in Somaliland’s Thursday parliamentary elections was still underway on late Friday night at the headquarters of the six regional electoral commissions.
In the Hargeysa district only 105 ballot boxes were counted with the main opposition party KULMIYE capturing roughly 40.71%, while UDUB and UCID won 30.15% and 29.14% each respectively.
In the Buroa district, 118 boxes were counted by midnight with KULMIYE winning 24,664 votes, UDUB 16, 354 votes and UCID 18, 184 votes.
The race was neck and neck when 19 polling stations were counted in Berbera district with UDUB scoring 4,968 votes against KULMIYE’s 4, 777 votes and UCID’s 4, 690 votes.
In the Gar-adag district of Sanaag region, the preliminary results gave KULMIYE 6, 650 votes, UDUB 3, 650 and UCID 1, 400 votes.
Meanwhile president Rayale’s UDUB party was poised to comfortably win the majority of votes cast in the Awdal region as a whole while UCID showed a significant jump in its capture of the national vote compared to the results of last presidential elections.
In Erigavo district, preliminary results so far indicated that KULMIYE won 22, 230 votes against 21, 981 for UCID. UDUB was third capturing only 13, 218 votes.
The voting started at 6 o’clock in the morning and closed at 6pm at most of the country’s polling stations. In some places such as Togdheer’s Odweyne district where arrival of ballot boxes was delayed by rains, polling stations remained opened after the 6pm deadline.
In Hargeysa and Buroa there were still people in the queues when polling stations closed. Scores of people were arrested by the police for trying to double vote.
Voter turn-out in this election was at least 40% bigger in comparison with the 2003 presidential elections with one million people expected to vote this time around.
The 3 political parties fielded 246 candidates for the 82-seat House of Representatives.
Though the weeks before the election witnessed a lot of mud slinging in the battle for votes, however the most overwhelming majority of Somalilanders on the streets or in rural villages felt not only satisfied with the fairness of the elections but also felt proud that exercise was held in an orderly and peaceful manner.
A contingent of 100 foreign observers monitored the Somaliland ’s Thursday parliamentary elections.
According to the head of the group, Steve Kibble, no major problems were reported during the election.
The South African team consisted of 12 men and women. There was a parliamentarian from Finland . The International Cooperation for Development (ICD) provided coordination and logistical support.
Other countries from which observers were drawn included Britain , Norway , Denmark , New Zealand , USA , Zimbabwe and Sweden .