Somalia: Stakes high ahead of Somaliland's election results

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HARGEISA, Somalia - Top political parties in Somaliland are anxiously waiting for the results of Monday's elections, which were closely monitored by a host of stakeholders, including observers mainly from Africa, with few or no government representatives across the world.

Somaliland Electoral Commissioner Abdirashid Mohamud Ali announced that the election results will be declared within 24 hours. This means that by 5 pm on Tuesday, most candidates would have known their fate in civic and parliamentary polls.

Early indication from the Somaliland election is that turnout was high compared to the registered voters, a source told VOA There was a lot of enthusiasm among voters and the process was calm and orderly with very minor electoral lessons to learn for the future, a source added.

For the better part of Monday, the breakaway region's President Muse Bihi Abdi and opposition leaders led by example by voting in their respective polling stations as they mobilized supporters to back their local candidates.

About 55 percent of registered voters were under the age of 25. Also, 53 percent of registered voters are male while 47 percent were female. This indicates that women may have changed their attitude towards such exercise given the democracy that could be booming in the region.

Some reports indicate that residents of Las Anod had a high turnout in Monday's local council and House of Representatives elections in Somaliland. The election of the House of Representatives is being contested by candidates seeking to become the next Speaker of the Somaliland Parliament.

Among the candidates is former Somaliland Foreign Minister Yasin Haji Mohamud Faratoon. The contest is shaping between the ruling Kulmiye party and the opposition UCID and Wadani, which are contesting to control the 82-member parliament and the 212 local authorities.

Somaliland held parliamentary polls in 2005 and civic polls in 2012. Since then, authorities have delayed the exercise leading to multiple questions from stakeholders, including the European Union, whose envoy Nicolas Berlanga visited several polling stations on Monday.

All parties have indicated that they will accept the outcome of the results and those dissatisfied would have an opportunity to appeal in court. As results continue tricking in, Garowe Online will be pushing them on our official site for regular updates in the coming hours.

GAROWE ONLINE

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