Sabahi (Washington, DC)

30 November 2012

Somalia: Somaliland Municipal Council Elections Conclude Successfully

Somaliland's municipal elections on Wednesday (November 28th) were successful despite some irregularities, with preliminary results available in a week, according to National Electoral Commission (NEC) Chairman Essa Yusuf Haji Mohamed.

"In general, it ended in a peaceful and successful way, even though some of the polling places fell behind the time that voting was supposed to begin," Mohamed told Sabahi. "When it was time to close polling stations, we allowed people who were already in line to cast their votes."

Problems arose because the commission was not able to deliver ballot boxes to the Badhan and Dhahar districts in the eastern Sanaag region due to security issues, he said. The NEC also recalled some of the ballot boxes slated for Sool's Huddun district after Puntland objected to the deployment of the ballot boxes in the contested area. "Even though the people of that district wanted to vote, we preferred to stop it due to security reasons."

Most of the ballot boxes have reached NEC regional centres, and counting will start on Friday afternoon, Mohamed said. "The count and verification will take us several days or a week at the most, after that we will announce the preliminary results," he added.

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