PRESS RELEASE: International observers of Somaliland presidential election on 13 November 2017 congratulate Somalilanders as Supreme Court announces final results

Somaliland’s Supreme Court yesterday upheld the preliminary results of the presidential election, originally released by the National Electoral Commission on 21 November. That decision confirms Mr Muse Bihi Abdi, leader of Kulmiye Party, as the president-elect. The international election observation mission (EOM) congratulates all Somalilanders, including Mr Bihi and the other candidates, on the conclusion of the electoral process.

Says Dr Michael Walls, chief observer of the EOM:

“We congratulate the new president, and are pleased that, after some post-poll tensions, political parties have followed legal channels in confirming the election result, which has now been accepted by all candidates. We applaud political leaders on all sides for their public statements stressing the importance of the gains made by Somaliland to date. Somalilanders have once again shown their strong commitment to peaceful electoral democracy and we look forward to a continuation of that process as we now look toward the much-delayed parliamentary elections, scheduled to be held in tandem with local council polls in 2019.”

The full press release can be read in English and Somali. The EOM is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Somaliland Focus

Established in 2005, Somaliland Focus aims to raise awareness of the democratic achievements of Somaliland.

We have co-organised the international election observation team for three elections in Somaliland, alongside Progressio and UCL’s Development Planning Unit, and are now involved in organising international observation for the 2017 Presidential Election as part of the mission that is being led by UCL. Election observation to date includes:

Members are individuals with personal and/ or professional interests in Somaliland, including those from the Somaliland diaspora in the UK. Aside from our election observation activities, we have regular members’ meetings and irregular public events. If you want to know more about what we do, please contact us on info@somalilandfocus.org.uk – or via Twitter @SomalilandFocus.

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in blog entries are individual, and do not necessarily represent the official view of Somaliland Focus or the international election observation mission.

PRESS RELEASE: International observers of Somaliland’s presidential election on 13 November 2017 urge all parties to use legal channels to resolve post-election differences

With post-election disturbances reported in Somaliland while results are awaited, the International Election Observation Mission (EOM) is aware of complaints and grievances about the electoral process. We urge complainants to pursue those grievances through the appropriate customary and legal channels, where evidence can be assessed in full and judged on its merits.

Says Dr Michael Walls, chief observer of the EOM:

“Violent protest undermines the peace that Somaliland has built so painstakingly over the years, and does not serve the interests of Somalilanders or Somaliland as a whole. We are aware of complaints, and stress the urgency that those complaints be considered in full and within the context of the legal channels designed to provide a full and fair hearing. We urge all parties to call for restraint as those processes are pursued.”

The full press release can be read in English and Somali. The EOM is also on Facebook and Twitter.

PRESS RELEASE: International observers of Somaliland’s presidential election congratulate the Somaliland people on a peaceful poll and look forward to a positive conclusion to the electoral process

Following Somaliland’s third presidential election on 13 November 2017, the International Election Observation Mission anticipates a moment of change in Somaliland, as President Ahmed Silanyo, in office since 2010, steps down after his successor has been declared elected. Most members of the 60-person observation mission, funded by the British government and drawing on members from 27 countries, are now preparing to leave Somaliland, leaving a small team to observe the declaration of results and the reaction to that announcement.

Chief observer, Dr Michael Walls of the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at University College London (UCL) and Somaliland Focus UK, notes:

“We are pleased to have observed an election which has seen Somaliland show its democratic spirit, and we congratulate the National Electoral Commission on a well-run poll. We look forward to the announcement of a credible result. Furthermore we call on all parties to urge their supporters to accept the result, for the sake of Somaliland, and we encourage any who are dissatisfied with that result to pursue complaints through legal channels.”

The full press release can be read in English and Somali. The EOM is also on Facebook and Twitter.

PRESS RELEASE: International observers of Somaliland’s presidential election congratulate the Somaliland people on a peaceful poll

Following Somaliland’s third presidential election on 13 November 2017, the 60-member mission, funded by Britain’s government and drawing on members from 27 countries is now finalising its interim report to Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission as observers return to Hargeisa.

Says chief observer Dr Michael Walls of the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at University College London (UCL) and Somaliland Focus UK:

“On election day, we are pleased to have observed a poll that in the main seems to have preserved the integrity of the electoral process. While we are aware of some key concerns, these do not seem to be substantive and systematic enough to have undermined the election itself, and we congratulate Somaliland on a largely peaceful process; another progressive step in their electoral evolution.”

The full press release can be read in English and Somali. The EOM is also on Facebook and Twitter.

PRESS RELEASE: International observers of Somaliland’s presidential election on 13 November 2017 ready to deploy to Somaliland’s six regions

Ahead of Somaliland’s third presidential election on 13 November 2017, a 60-member team drawing on members from 27 countries has fully assembled in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital, and will soon start deploying around Somaliland.

The international election observation mission (EOM) has been invited by Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) and is funded by the British government. The EOM will conduct its observation activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, emphasising the impartiality and independence of that observation.

The full press release can be read in English and Somali. The EOM is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Press release: International observers arrive in Somaliland for presidential election being held on 13 November 2017

Ahead of Somaliland’s third presidential election on 13 November 2017, the first members of a team of 60 international election observers have arrived in Hargeisa. 

The international election observation mission (EOM) has been invited by Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) and is funded by the British government. The EOM will conduct its observation activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, emphasising the impartiality of that observation.

The full press release can be read in English and Somali. The EOM is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Report by International Observers on the 2016 Voter Registration Process in Somaliland

The Somaliland voter registration process began on 16 January 2016, concluding on 26 September 2016, and was conducted by the Somaliland National Electoral Commission (NEC) in all six regions of the country.

International development agency Progressio, the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at University College London (UCL), and members of Somaliland Focus (UK), observed the process at different points during this period.

Our international election observer (IEO) mission followed previous observations by these three organisations of Somaliland’s House of Representatives election in 2005, presidential election in 2010, and local council elections in 2012.

The purpose of the 2016 mission was to inform Somalilanders and key international actors about the quality and legitimacy of the voter registration process.

The mission’s full report can be downloaded here.

HARGEISA INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2016: The Media and Leadership in Somaliland

As part of the Hargeisa International Book Fair 2016, Somaliland Focus (UK) continued its campaigning on media freedom in Somaliland by participating in a panel discussion on media and leadership. The panel examined the media in Somaliland, including the legal environment, media standards, the importance of media in the run-up to elections in 2017, and the wider African media context.

In the light of the persistent high level of harassment and persecution of media organisations in Somaliland, Somaliland Focus expects its campaign to continue… Read the full panel address here

OPEN LETTER: Media freedom in Somaliland: the arrest of reporters from Horn Cable TV and SomSat TV

Somaliland Focus (UK) has again been compelled to write an open letter to H.E President Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud of Somaliland expressing our concerns about events involving ongoing harassment and intimidation of news media members in Somaliland

The letter was prompted by the arrest in Gabiley on the 30th and 31st October of reporters Mukhtar Nouh Ibrahim from Horn Cable TV, and Mohamed Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud from SomSat TV…Read the full letter here

OPEN LETTER: PRESS AND MEDIA FREEDOM IN SOMALILAND: CLOSING DOWN OF HAATUF NEWSPAPER

Once again, Somaliland Focus (UK) has written an open letter to H.E President Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud of Somaliland expressing our concerns about events involving ongoing harassment and intimidation of news media members in Somaliland

The letter concerns the recent closing down and indefinite suspension of the Haatuf newspaper and its sister English-language weekly, Somaliland Times, by the police… Read the full letter here

Open letter to President Silanyo: Hubaal newspaper and media freedom in Somaliland

Somaliland Focus (UK) has written an open letter to H.E President Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud of Somaliland expressing our concerns about events involving Hubaal newspaper and ongoing harassment and intimidation of news media members in Somaliland

The letter follows up on our earlier letter in November, addressed to Mr Mohammed Behi Younis, Foreign Minister and Mr Abdullahi Mohamed Dahir, Information Minister.. Read the full letter here

Open letter: Media freedom in Somaliland

Somaliland Focus (UK) writes open letter to Somaliland’s government expressing concerns about ongoing harassment and intimidation of news media members in Somaliland

The letter is addressed to Mr Mohammed Behi Younis, Foreign Minister and Mr Abdullahi Mohamed Dahir, Information Minister…Read the full letter here

Press release: International observers launch final report on Somaliland’s 2012 local elections

International election observation mission to Somaliland’s local council elections, assembled by Progressio, University College London and Somaliland Focus (UK), launches final report highlighting the “swerves on the road” as Somaliland continues to drive its developing democracy forward 

Six months on, the public release of the mission report notes that once again, Somalilanders displayed their dedication to the unique democratic spirit they have crafted from their challenging history. In particular, there was real progress in inclusion of youth and women: the election of 10 female candidates represents a huge step forward. Yet concerns expressed immediately following polling day—especially over observers’ reports of widespread attempts at multiple and underage voting—remain real…read the full press release here.

Press release: International Election Observers applaud commitment to democracy, but say action is required to ensure future election integrity

With results finally confirmed in Somaliland’s local elections, held on November 28th 2012, the international election observation mission assembled by Progressio, DPU and Somaliland Focus (UK) congratulates the people ofSomaliland and the National Electoral Commission (NEC) on a lively and enthusiastic election campaign and voting process.

However, in advance of writing our final report, to be released in mid-2013, we must also report a number of substantial concerns….Read the full press release here

Update: International observers to local elections in Somaliland

Update 14 December 2012: A small presence of IEO members has remained in Hargeisa following the elections. Disputes around results are currently being investigated by authorities in Somaliland. The IEO team is awaiting more news about this process before making any further statements regarding the conduct and results of the election.