Denmark pushes for timely presidential elections in Somaliland

1
Somaliland's president Ahmed Silanyo (centre) displays his voter card at a voter registration center in Hargeysa, 18, July, 2017. Handout photo/Somaliland presidency.

Already delayed twice, Somaliland’s presidential election is to be held on November 13 after which president Ahmed Silanyo is expected to end his one term plus eight months extension mandate.

By Jamal Ibrahim, jamal@alleastafrica.com

HARGEISA – Representatives from the Danish government have stressed the need for timely and credible elections in the breakaway northern Somalia republic of Somaliland during meetings with Somaliland leaders on Monday.

Already delayed twice, Somaliland’s presidential election is to be held on November 13 after which president Ahmed Silanyo is expected to end his one term plus eight months extension mandate.

Mette Knudsen, the Danish ambassador to Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea and the Seychelles who led a delegation that arrived in the port city of Berbera and held talks with Somaliland leaders at the state house has reiterated that under no circumstances including logistical and budgetary constraints, elections ‘must not’ be delayed this time, according to officials privy with the meeting.

Mette Knudsen, the Danish ambassador to Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea and the Seychelles (left) meets Mohamud Hashi Abdi, the state minister for Somaliland’s presidency in a meeting at the state house in Berbera. Handout photo/Somaliland Presidency

During their meeting, Ms. Knudsen also emphasized that the international community expects to see ‘free’ and ‘fair’ election held in Somaliland at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Mohamud Hashi Abdi, the state minister for Somaliland’s presidency who attended the meeting on behalf of the president told reporters that the talks have largely focused on the election and undertaking development projects in Somaliland.

The minister hasn’t given further details about the meeting which followed previous visit by representatives from the international community since last year. The U.S ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz has also arrived in Somaliland on his first visit to Somaliland late last month.

During his one day visit in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital, Mr. Schwartz urged Somaliland leaders to make sure holding timely elections.

In the meantime, pressure is growing on Somaliland leaders after delays of presidential elections twice last year, which resulted in the suspension of the development aid to the Somaliland Development Fund, a support line through which donors were supporting Somaliland’s development goals and filling a critical gap supporting projects by the international community.

The latter has also forced Somaliland to stand alone in funding the ongoing election process, initially funded by the international community which was angered by the electoral delays.

Currently, three candidates from the three top political parties have expressed interest in the upcoming presidential election, with voters will have to elect the 5th president of Somaliland which has broken away from Somalia in 1991.

The next president will serve four years term which can be renewed twice.

(Additional reporting and editing by Judy Maina in Nairobi, Kenya) 

Copyright ©2017 Alleastafrica.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Alleastafrica.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Alleastafrica.com

1 COMMENT

  1. Subject: “Denmark pushes for timely presidential elections in Somaliland, Jul 18, 2017″

    Commentary: 18 July 2016

    The problem of the SOMALI people can ONLY be solved by the SOMALI PEOPLE THEMSELVES. No foreign diplomats around the Globe can deeply understand the psyche — the desire — the thinking — the aspiration of the Somali people but only themselves.

    The Somali people were under one umbrella of leadership by Said Barre [no matter what we think about him] but fractured into pieces after his ‘departure’ to oblivion. What happened? What do the Somali people want? Where would the Somali people wish to strive upon in Life? No foreign diplomat — nor psychiatrist –nor sociologist — nor archeologist would find the answer and solution thereof to the Somali problem. ONLY the ordinary Somali people, in their ancestral aged old societal manner, can identify and solve their problem to their way of Life. Period. This innocent idiot writer believes it deeply.

    The solution to AFRICA in totality rests upon ITSELF — ONLY if the people of AFRICA were to be left by themselves to solve their problems themselves for themselves in their anthropological traits. The problem arises when foreign ‘elements’ poke their noses and fingers in the richness of Africa for their own benefit. Look around of what is going on in the” Dark Continent” — even the terminology of the European design is to kill the spirit of the AFRICAN, making him/her helpless with INFERIORITY COMPLEX. Even the baptism (naming) of an African child follows the Master’s guide with pride >>> example: “Leopold”.

    Look also at the behaviour of African Leaders, for individual monetary values, in the face of the Master — the Colonial Power. Isn’t that the foundation of OUR PROBLEM? Let us be FRANK to ourselves. The reason that all the so-called African organizations miserably failed is because their ‘foundation’ of THINKING has always been based on their Colonial Master’s Mind Set. Even the so-called “modern” education was/is nothing but a long process of sophisticated ‘brain-washing’ of the African MIND. And it succeeded! I better STOP.

LEAVE A REPLY