12/7/2019
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High-profile multinational delegation notches Somaliland to hold polls and gain facelift

Africa Daily Voice
Friday April 12, 2019


Reassured Somaliland President Abdi...no problems with polls. Photo: RR

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – An influential international delegation has notched Somaliland’s President Muse Bihi Abdi to hold parliamentary and local council elections on 12 December 2019 if the country was to obtain a significant boost, ADV learns here Thursday.

The high-level delegation of Ambassadors and representatives from Denmark, European Union, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom urged the Somaliland learder during their visit Hargeisa, Somaliland last week.

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The main purpose of the visit was to demonstrate the partners’ continued support for Somaliland’s democratisation process and, in that context, underline the need for parliamentary and local council elections to take place on time ‪on 12 December 2019.

The visit comes in the wake of Somaliland’s resolute move to gain more international recognition after it unilaterally declared independence nearly 20 years ago.

The delegation met with President Muse Bihi Abdi, all political parties, Parliament, the Electoral Commission and representatives of civil society organizations.

In their discussions with the country’s leaders, the delegation noted with concern the lack of progress in the preparations for the elections due to disagreements between the three main political parties and in the passage of electoral legislation in the Parliament.

A statement issued by the British embassy in Somalia on Wednesday, said the delegation regretted this state of affairs and underlined the risks that further delay would pose to the democratic credentials and international perception of Somaliland.

The partners urged all political parties to demonstrate their commitment and will to make the necessary compromises to unblock the stalemate and to support the work of the Electoral Commission.

They also urged the House of Representatives to accelerate the passage of the Electoral Law.

Among other things, the delegation also underlined that elections should be held according to the principles of inclusiveness, transparency and credibility in a peaceful environment and stressed that women and minorities needed to be provided with a legally enforceable right to participate and be elected.

The delegation also expressed the willingness of the international community to work with Somaliland to address the current drought. The delegation stressed that the long-term solution to the negative impact of recurrent droughts lay with a sustainable and resilient development trajectory.

They also welcomed a commitment by President Muse Bihi Abdi to pursuing dialogue with the Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo as well as with the Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni on current security challenges.

The delegation thanked their hosts for their warm hospitality during the visit and reaffirmed their support for Somaliland’s development and democratization, the statement concluded.



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