Somaliland holds peaceful presidential election

Women lining up at a polling station in Hargeisa. Photo Credit: Rooble Mohamed

HARGEISA – Voters across Somaliland went to the polls on Monday, November 13th, to elect the next and 5th President of the Republic of Somaliland.

All three presidential candidates, Musa Bihi Abdi (Kulmiye), Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi Irro (Waddani), and Faisal Ali Waraabe (UCID), casted their ballots at the historical Hargeisa Exhibition Hall (Guriga Shaqaalaha).

Outgoing President, H.E Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo, and First Lady, Amina-Weris Sheikh Mohamed Jirdeh, also casted their votes at Hargeisa Exhibition Hall.

704,089 voters in Somaliland’s six electoral regions were eligible to vote in the election. It is not known how many eligible voters casted their ballots, as the results are still being counted by the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

Movement was restricted nationwide during the polling hours (6 AM-6PM). Only a few hundred cars belonging to the media, political party officials, and NEC officials, were given special license plates granting them free movement.

Results are not expected to be announced until later this week, as ballot boxes across the country must be brought to NEC headquarters in the capital for a final count.

According to NEC Chairman, Abdikadir Iman, only one ‘minor incident’ took place in Burao on Monday, after a police officer accidentally discharged his gun. No other violent incidents were reported.

All social media sites have also been blocked by ISP’s, under the directive of the NEC. According to NEC officials, the ban is being implemented to prevent the spread of ‘fake news’. The ban is expected to be lifted after the NEC announces the final results later this week.

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This is a developing story. Please check back at The National for more.

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