Somaliland polls close in election of new president - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Clear
2.1°C

Somaliland polls close in election of new president

Opposition candidate Feisal Ali Warabe speaks to the media after casting his vote in the presidential election in Hargeisa, in the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland, in Somalia Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. More than 700,000 registered voters across Somaliland are expected to cast their votes Monday to elect their fifth president, as the ruling party faces a strong challenge from opposition candidates. (AP Photo/Barkhad Kaariye)
November 13, 2017 - 9:26 AM

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Polls have closed and the counting of votes has begun in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Somaliland which is electing their fifth president Monday as the ruling party faces a strong challenge from opposition candidates.

Results are expected by Friday. The Somaliland government will block access to social media during the vote-counting period to try to prevent the spread of rumours about election results.

More than 700,000 voters registered to cast their votes at more than 1,600 polling stations across Somaliland amid tight security in the peaceful enclave.

This election was be the first in Africa one to use iris-scan biometric technology to prevent anyone from voting more than once, said Somaliland's electoral officials.

Three candidates are running for president following weeks of election campaigns. The current president is stepping down after his five-year term was controversially extended for two-and-a-half years because of a shortage of funds and a drought. Muse Bihi Abdi, the candidate for the ruling Kulmiye party and his main challenger Abdirahman Irro from the opposition Wadani party are slight favourites over Feisal Ali Warabe, a veteran politician from the opposition party UCID.

The new president will serve a five-year term that can be renewed once. The vote was be monitored by a British-funded team of 60 international observers from 27 countries.

Somaliland, a haven of relative peace in northwestern Somalia declared its unilateral independence from Somalia in 1991. However, no country has so far recognized it as an independent state. Some voters said they hope Monday's election will help Somaliland's push for international recognition.

"We hope it'll be a peaceful election that will prove to the world that Somaliland deserves an international recognition," said Barkhad Jama, a resident in Hargeisa, Somaliland's capital.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Comments
  • Woman found dead in car in Kamloops
    KAMLOOPS - A woman has been found dead and two men have been taken to hospital after they were found in a car playing loud music early this morning. Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shel
  • Kamloops RCMP seek missing man
    KAMLOOPS - Police in Kamloops are asking for the public's help to find a missing man. James Harris, 53, has not been in contact with family or friends since late March and he was last se
  • Searching for a stranger: Dozens of people brought in by bus to look for Ryan Shtuka
    SUN PEAKS - It's been nearly 10 weeks since Ryan Shtuka went missing in the Sun Peaks area after leaving a house party on Burfield Drive, but volunteers are still showing up in droves hoping t
  • Kelowna RCMP investigating brutal downtown assault
    KELOWNA - A Kelowna man who witnessed a brutal assault by a group of young men on a lone male in downtown Kelowna on the weekend says he feels like he came close to seeing a murder in progress.
  • Broncos families surprised obituaries are on website selling services
    Some families of Humboldt Broncos bus crash victims are surprised to learn that error-riddled obituaries of their loved ones have been posted on a website that's selling flowers, as well as on
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile