SOMALILAND: The presidential election that was supposed to take place in November, when the current President’s term ends, will now occur in Somaliland, a province that broke away from Somalia, announced the country’s electoral body on Saturday.
Due to speculation that President Muse Bihi Abdi sought to postpone the election and prolong his tenure, violent protests in the area erupted in August, with people demanding elections take place in November.
“The poll will now be held in nine months from October – or next July – because the currently scheduled date of Nov. 13 is not viable due to time, technical and financial constraints,” the Somaliland National Electoral Commission (SLNEC) tweeted on Saturday.
Although Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991, its independence has not been widely acknowledged globally. Despite Somalia’s three decades of civil strife, the area has remained largely quiet.
During the battles in August between security personnel and opposition protesters, at least five individuals were killed, and 100 more were hurt.
One of the opposition parties that supported the August protests, Wadani, praised the new date in a press conference following the SLNEC’s announcement.
The communications secretary for the Wadani party, Mohamud Aden Jama, said at the press conference, “We welcome the decision… we congratulate them for ending the controversy of the presidential election.”