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|Election Campaigning Brought To Conclusion|
Hargeisa (SL Times): With 48 hours to go before Somalilanders start voting on Monday in the first presidential election since regaining their independence in 1991, the three contesting political parties of KULMIYE, UCID and UDUB, brought their respective election campaigns to an end.
The campaigning was concluded yesterday with incumbent president Rayale going to Khayria Plaza to make his last speech in the election campaign. Addressing a large crowd that assembled in front of Khayria yesterday morning, Mr. Rayale promised that if elected, his government would strife for strengthening and protecting peace. He stressed that his number two priority would be the consolidation of national unity. Mr. Rayale asked Somalilanders to support his re-election. He made no mention of the current economic and social difficulties faced by Somaliland.
Mr. Rayale is UDUB party’s candidate for president. Following a lull of several weeks, UDUB had intensified its election campaign in the last few days. Opposition leaders however claimed that the surge in UDUB’s campaign activities came as a result of substantial government funds allegedly given to the party. The allegations have not been confirmed. But the Somaliland Shilling’s value has in the last 72 hours deteriorated to 7600 against the US dollar against a 7200 level four days earlier. Observers attributed the weakness of the Sl Sh to the influx of large amounts of the currency into the money market.
Meanwhile, KULMIYE’s presidential candidate Silanyo has accused the government of denying his party access to the government controlled media. "We requested on several occasions to be given time for broadcasting our program through Radio Hargeisa but were turned down," Mr. Sillanyo said.
KULMIYE's leader told reporters yesterday that the authorities have blocked an attempt by his party to organize a campaign rally at Khayria on Thursday morning.
Mr. Silanyo said the reason given was that the Khayria Plaza had been reserved for UDUB. He pointed out that when his party officials settled for a time in the afternoon, they were told that the place would still be occupied.
In their statements yesterday, both Rayale and Silanyo promised to accept the outcome of the presidential election.