Opposition wins Somaliland poll
Mr Silanyo leads the Kulmiye opposition party and was beaten by President Riyale by only a few hundred votes in Somaliland's last elections in 2003. This time, however Mr Silanyo gained 50 percent of the vote, compared to only 33 percent for President Riyale.
Many however feared that Somaliland was facing a democracy setback as the current presidential polls were delayed time after time.
The presidential elections were originally scheduled for August 2008, but were first postponed as two Somaliland provinces were occupied by the Somali province of Puntland. After several postponements and increased pressure from the opposition party Kulmiye, President Riyale this year finally decreed the 26 June as election date.
Now, however, it seems clear that Somaliland becomes one of the first African nations where an incumbent President loses the election to an opposition challenger. Somaliland is thus heading for a peaceful an orderly power transfer from UCID to Kulmiye later this month.
Somaliland broke away from a Somalia falling into chaos in 1991, re-establishing the Somaliland Republic that gained independence from Britain in 1960 and soon thereafter joined former Italian Somaliland to form Somalia.
Since 1991, Hargeisa authorities have managed to build a functional state and maintain peace and order in most of its territory. Somaliland still has not been recognised by any country but enjoys good informal ties with neighbouring Ethiopia and many African and Western nations.
By staff writers
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