Somaliland municipal council elections are taking place today (November 28th) for the second time since 2002.
The poll will determine Somaliland's future politics, as under the Somaliland's constitution, the three most successful parties, out of the seven different political groupings competing in the election, will be allowed to compete in national elections over the next decade. The Somaliland National Electoral Commission said it had dispatched more than 20,000 election staff and ballot boxes to over 1,800 polling stations across Somaliland's 23 districts.
The Minister of Interior Affairs, Mohamed Nur Arraleh, said 6,000 members of the security forces had been deployed to guard election precincts. A fifty-five strong team of international observers, including members of the Somaliland Diaspora, are observing the election and the Somaliland Non State Actors Forum has also deployed about 700 local observers. Representatives from civil society organizations in Mogadishu in Somalia and Garowe in Puntland are also participating in observation of the election for the first time.
International observers said they had been pleased to observe the campaigning had been lively and largely peaceful with a noticeable lack of serious tension. Somaliland held successful Presidential Elections in 2003 and 2010 and a Parliamentary election in 2005, all monitor.