In Summary
  • Elections are meant to be held every five years, however the poll was delayed for two years due to drought and other technical issues.
  • Incumbent Ahmed Mohamud Silaanyo is not seeking re-election.
  • Ahead of the Somaliland election, the three main candidates held a televised debate to present their political agendas.
  • Somaliland, a former British protectorate, won independence in 1960 but days later joined with Somalia.

MOGADISHU

Residents of the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland voted Monday in its third presidential poll, hoping to prove its democratic credentials and strengthen the case for independence from troubled Somalia.

The northern territory, which is more tribally homogenous and stable than the rest of Somalia, broke away in 1991 and has been striving to attain international recognition ever since.

Three candidates are running for the state's top office, seasoned politicians Muse Bihi of the ruling Kulmiye party and opposition candidates Abdirahman Iro and Faysal Ali Warabe, who was defeated in previous elections in 2010.

"The procedure started peacefully this morning and we are confident that this election is going to be a milestone for the entire region," said Iro as he voted.

FIVE YEARS

Elections are meant to be held every five years, however the poll was delayed for two years due to drought and other technical issues.

Incumbent Ahmed Mohamud Silaanyo is not seeking re-election.

Somaliland's history of peaceful, credible elections and democratic transition sets it apart from anarchic southern Somalia, and indeed much of east Africa.

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