News · Published 27 May 2021
Members of the Somaliland Election Monitoring Mission (SEMM) have arrived in the capital, Hargeisa, for a week-long visit to monitor Parliamentary and Local Government elections which are scheduled for Monday, 31 May 2021.
The Republic of Somaliland has held regular democratic elections since it declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, revoking a decision to join Somalia in 1960, which was followed by a brutal civil war in the late 1980s, during which its capital city, Hargeisa, was practically raised to the ground.
Although the central government maintains good relations with several foreign governments, it has never been formally recognized as a state despite a record of peace, stability and democracy.
The monitoring mission has been organised by The Brenthurst Foundation which works on the continent to promote sound economic policy, democracy and development. The mission is led by H.E. Mr Erastus Mwencha, Former Deputy Chair of the AUC (Head of Delegation) and includes H.E President Ernest Bai Koroma, Former President of Sierra Leone and The Brenthurst Foundation Director, Dr Greg Mills. A full list of delegates is attached.
President Koroma said he was proud to “support the building and consolidation of peace and democracy in Africa” by participating in the monitoring mission.
Dr Mills said “Somaliland represents an example of an African country which is committed to democracy and development and deserves the support of every African who wants to see progress on this continent. Democracy and peaceful progress are essential to growing economies so that they can provide employment and opportunities for their people.”
The mission will observe the election at locations across the country and compile a report which will be handed to the electoral commission and released to the public after voting has been completed.
There are two elections taking place on Monday:
- There are 82 seats in Parliament
- Three parties will contest all seats, fielding 246 candidates
Local Government elections
- There are 522 local councils
- All seats are contested
- Candidate posters show a constituency number
The previous Parliamentary election took place in 2012, with presidential elections taking place in 2017.
The previous Parliamentary election was contested by political associations. The top three associations have now formed the three political parties that are contesting this Parliamentary election. The Parliamentary election is based on a proportional representation system using open lists provided by parties.
Somaliland’s political stability is built on a compact reached by its clans to replace conflict with democratic processes. Much of Somaliland’s politics remains clan based but these ‘coalitions of clans’ now contest for power in the democratic arena.
The Election is run by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) which consists of seven persons: Three nominated by the president, two from the upper house and two nominees from opposition parties.
According to the commission, there are 1 065 000 voters on the list. This represents 426 000 new voters since last election. Voters have been issued with voter cards which they must furnish on election day in order to cast their ballots.
The elections are run according to internationally accepted democratic practices, with party agents permitted to observe activity in voting stations and indelible ink used to prevent double voting.
Polls open at 6AM and close at 6PM with those in the queue by 6PM permitted to vote.
Tallying takes place at polling stations for the local government election with the result announced by the polling station chairman once counting is finished.
Parliamentary results are announced at regional level.
The Brenthurst Foundation
Somaliland Election Monitoring
27 May-2 June 2021
H.E. Mr Erastus Mwencha, Former Deputy Chair of the AUC (Head of Delegation)
H.E President Ernest Bai Koroma, Former President of Sierra Leone
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