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UN ‘concerned’ over electoral delays in Somaliland

Wednesday November 27, 2019

HARGEISA (HOL) - The UN and other members of the international community have expressed concern over the delayed elections in Somaliland following a decision by the Parliament to extend its terms between two and three years.

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The international community said in a joint statement Wednesday lack of elections through democratic process risked derailing progress and development in Somaliland.

“We are especially concerned by the decision of the Guurti to extend both House of Representatives and Guurti's mandates to January 2022 and January 2023 respectively,” the EU said.

Only democratically elected institutions, the IC said, ‘can deliver the development outcomes that the people of Somaliland deserve’.

The sentiments follow Sunday’s vote by Somaliland’s Upper House (Guurti) to extend its term by three years and that of the Lower House by two years.

The extension meant Somaliland’s parliament will have been in uninterrupted sitting for 17 years since the last election in 2005.

The international partners also raised concerns over recent arrests of politicians and suppression of freedom of expression in Somaliland.

“We are concerned that events have significantly undermined these commitments to the detriment of Somaliland’s democratic credentials and international standing,” the statement read.

 Likewise, the joint statement read, ‘we are deeply concerned by instances of seemingly arbitrary detentions and by increased restrictions on freedom of expression.’

They however praised the mediation team by committee of elders to resolve the current political impasse over the composition of the National Electoral Commission.

“As a solid foundation of such a process, there needs to be an Electoral Commission that inspires broad trust from all political actors as well as from the citizens of Somaliland,” the statement added.

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