See also:
» 17.03.2011 - Somaliland discusses need for more than 3 parties
» 05.07.2010 - Somaliland poll hailed; recognition next?
» 04.06.2010 - Somaliland election campaigns start
» 14.04.2010 - Somaliland finally prepares presidential polls
» 02.10.2009 - Somaliland peace pact hailed
» 25.08.2009 - Crackdown on independent media ahead of election
» 06.07.2009 - Opposition warns government against delayed polls
» 28.05.2009 - Somaliland agrees on fixed election time

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Opposition wins Somaliland poll

Somaliland President-elect Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo

© Kulmiye/afrol News
afrol News, 2 July
- Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo will be the new President of the breakaway state of Somaliland following an election defeat of incumbent President Dahir Riyale Kahin.

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.

The results were announced today by Somaliland's National Election Commission, which declared the opposition leader winner of the 26 June elections. The results have been published on President Riyale's government website, thus recognising defeat.

"Somaliland's Supreme Court will ratify the results and the President-elect and his vice president will be sworn in by 26 July, 2010. All the political parties agreed to abide by the results," the Hargeisa government said in a statement.

Somaliland since declaring independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 has been ruled by the UCID party, first by founding President Mohammed Egal, and after his death by President Riyale. While Mr Egal was marked as a charismatic leader, Mr Riyale was more seen as an administrator.

Despite the UCID dominance on politics since independence, Somaliland has progressively built up democratic institution seen as "model" to the African Horn region. International observers termed both the 2003 presidential and the 2005 leg

Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin in his Hargeisa office

© Somaliland govt/afrol News
islative polls free and fair.

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.

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