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Somaliland President affirms availability of election funds, rejects interference

Friday May 19, 2023

Hargeisa (HOL) - Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi stated they have sufficient funds for the overdue elections and will not relinquish control of their affairs and power to outsiders to receive international aid support.

During a commemoration event on May 18, President Bihi reiterated that it is time for elections and emphasized that the international community has no role in Somaliland's electoral process.

"We are preparing for elections and will not allow outsiders to manipulate it. The international community will not interfere with our elections or our laws. Anyone who tries to deceive them is a fool who lacks trust in their own country," President Bihi stated.

President Bihi said, "The election funds are ready and available for Somaliland. We appreciate your support, but we will not accept any interference. Our funds are self-sufficient."

Last year, at least five people were killed and 100 others injured in Somaliland when security forces clashed with protesters demanding presidential elections to be held in November. After his constitutional mandate expired, the opposition announced that they would no longer recognize Muse Bihi's presidency.

However, the Somaliland election commission later declared that the election would occur in nine months from October - or next July in the last year, 2022.

Last April, President Muse Bihi Abdi held a video conference with ambassadors, deputy ambassadors, and diplomats from various European countries, including Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, as well as a representative from the European Union.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the ongoing conflict in Las Anod and the delayed upcoming elections in Somaliland.

The US State Department also expressed concern over the postponement of Somaliland's presidential elections, initially scheduled for November 2022. They urged the Somaliland authorities to establish a clear timeline and conduct the polls immediately.

Somaliland, a self-proclaimed republic with no international recognition, is facing a crisis as the unionist movement for reunification with Somalia spreads across SSC, which is roughly a third of what Somaliland regards as its territory. Protests calling for reunification began in Las Anod in December 2022 and led to a declaration in February 2023 that declared the presence of the Somaliland administration illegal.

Somaliland has been shelling the city ever since, causing significant casualties and damage to infrastructure, including hospitals.


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