Testing the Somaliland’s 20 Years old democracy

citizens of Somaliland head to the polls to elect their local municipal council representatives.photo by dailysignal
citizens of Somaliland head to the polls to elect their local municipal council representatives.photo by dailysignal

A Pre-Election Report Published by Center for Policy Analysis (CPA)

This May of 2021 is a very historic month. It is the 30th anniversary1 of Somaliland’s Statehood, the 20th anniversary2 of Somaliland’s Multiparty Democracy, and the first time to hold two elections together. After 10 years of delay for the House of Representative’s Elections3 and three years and six months delay for the Local Council Elections, finally, Somaliland is holding these important Elections on May 31st, 2021. The upcoming elections are vital for the democratic process of Somaliland people because it is the first time that Somaliland is holding a parliamentary election since 2005. The youth generation who are under 30 years old, who are the majority of the population, have never got an opportunity to elect their House of Representatives members4, so, this time, the youth generation of Somaliland will get the chance to elect their House Representatives. On the other hand, only one female is in the House of Representatives, and the minority groups have no representation at all. So, these elections are very crucial for the Women, Youth, and Minority Groups.
For the last two decades, Somaliland held six elections of one person one vote,5 the referendum of the constitution and three advanced voter registrations. Somaliland’s Voter Registration became one of the most advanced voter registrations in the world to secure and increase the integrity of the elections.
798 candidates are contesting the upcoming Elections including 552 Local Council candidates and 246 Parliamentary Candidates. 28 female candidates and 5 candidates from the Gabooye clans (Minority groups) are included the final list from the National Electoral Commission (NEC). The 552 Local Council candidates are contesting 220 seats from 20 Electoral Districts.
NEC increased the number of Polling Stations from 1,6427 to 2,709 polling stations, due to the COVID19 pandemic and allowing the voters to have enough space for social
distancing. 1,065,847 voters registered to cast their vote. Comparing to the 2017 presidential elections, the number of registered voters increased 66%8. More than 30,000 people are expected to work during the Election day including NEC staff, Party Agents, Security Officers, Domestic Observers, and International Observers.
Somaliland is one of the most expensive elections in Africa, every vote cost nearly $20. The president of Somaliland Muuse Biihi Abdi recommended a comprehensive electoral reform after this election, called that the election stakeholders to discuss how to minimize the cost of Elections and holding it timely.

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