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PRESS RELEASE: International observers of Somaliland’s presidential election on 13 November 2017 ready to deploy to Somaliland’s six regions congratulate the Somaliland people on a peaceful poll

Hargaysa 14 November  2017 (SDN/QJ):-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.”

Ahead of Somaliland’s third presidential election on 13 November 2017, a 60-member teamdrawing 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.

As the third presidential election (following the polls in 2003 and 2010), it is the first poll to use a new voter registration system, which itself marks the first use of iris-scan biometric technology in an African election.

The EOM is led by the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at University College London (UCL), and Somaliland Focus UK. This EOM marks the fourth election in Somaliland observed and reported on by DPU and Somaliland Focus since 2005.

Arrival of the full team of observers on 8 November was preceded by examination of the preselection campaign by team co-ordinators, who arrived ahead of the start of political campaigning on 21 October.

Since then, the EOM has organised and held successful and well-attended events including public discussions on election observation, female political participation and the media landscape, met stakeholders and organised the many aspects of deploying such a large team.

The wider team has undergone several days of intensive pre-deployment training is now wellprepared for the intensity of polling day and the aftermath.

The majority will depart Somaliland on 16 November.

A small team will remain to observe the post-election period, including the

declaration of results. The EOM will publish its final report in the first half of 2018.

Says Dr Michael Walls of DPU, chief observer on the EOM:

“Preparations for this mission have been intense, and we are very appreciative of the invaluable assistance we have had from so many stakeholders in Somaliland, and from the British government in funding this mission. Now that we are seeing the hard work bear fruit, we are hoping we will see a spirited and peaceful polling day marking another step in Somaliland’s democratic development.”

  1. Somaliland declared unilateral independence from Somalia in 1991

following the collapse of Somalia’s government. It remains internationally

unrecognised.

  1. The mission is online at somalilandfocus.org.uk,  @SomalilandFocus and www.Facebook.com/EOMSomaliland2017.

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