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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Transparent parliamentary elections big boost for Somaliland’s international status, says Bihi

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Somaliland President Musa Bihi has said the recently held parliamentary and municipality elections has brought respect to the country and elicited interest from the international community.

He said the peaceful and organized manner with which the electoral process was carried out has silenced the naysayers who had spelt doom for the country.

“The elections opened a new chapter in the democracy of our nation and has earned us respect and recognition across the globe,” the President said.

“We have shown the World that something great can come out of the Horn of Africa. We have shown the world that we mean what we do and do what we mean.

Thank you to all the citizens of Somaliland,” Bihi said in the weekend when he met officials of the National Elections Commission (NEC), at the Presidency.

Somaliland held its first ever joint (Parliamentary and Municipality) elections on May 31, 2021 in a peaceful process that ushered in new, young and vibrant leaders.

The process has been hailed by international observers as one of the most transparent, fair, credible and peaceful electoral process staged in Africa.

Kenya’s John Githongo who was among the team of international observers said he has observed elections in many countries in Africa, but there was something unique about the process in Somaliland.

 “At no time was there any violence or claims of rigging. The electoral commission chairman was always available to brief the observers and the media. This is something that needs to be emulated across the continent,” said Githongo when he addressed the newly launched Kenya/Somaliland Parliamentary caucus in Nairobi adding that the observers were left wondering why Somaliland is yet to be recognized internationally with that level of democracy and organization.

President Bihi said the country has gained respect internationally.

“Foreigners were mesmerized to see the members of various political parties queuing to vote while exuding merrily festivity-like emotions”, said the President.

He lauded the NEC for a job well done that confounded all friends and foes for their diligence and organizational management.

Pointing out that the diligence of the NEC officials was quite formidable and made a great mark here and abroad, the President precisely hailed the NEC decision of announcing tentative results at their district level for the civic ballots.

He said the move offloaded much pressure and anxieties hence set in trust and acknowledgment.

The President particularly hailed the stakeholders starting with the populaces and the political parties, the security apparatus and the general organization of the processes for the timely, swift, peaceful and justified exercise and its result.

President Bihi said with the electioneering period over, the newly elected leaders and the citizenry should now get back to work of nation building.

The Somaliland government funded the entire electoral process with only about 15 percent of the USD 20 million coming from international partners.

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