8 December 2012

Somalia: After Deadly Protests, Somaliland Electoral Commission Reviews Results

Hargeisa — The electoral commission of the breakaway region of Somaliland, announced that it would be recounting the votes from Hargiesa district elections, after violent protests broke out on Thursday, Garowe Online reports.

Hargeisa residents waited anxiously on Saturday as the NEC issued a much-anticipated statement, saying that it would be recounting Hargeisa district election results.

For two days south Hargeisa erupted into protests after preliminary results were released Thursday.

The majority of the protestors were youth supporters of the Haqsoor political party, who were distraught with the results, eventually clashing with police who were sent to disperse the demonstrations, causing fatalities.

At least 3 people were killed and more than 7 injured in the deadly protests that began on Thursday night and erupted again Friday morning in Hargeisa.

Isse Hamari Chairman of the NEC stated that the commission would be conducting a recount and review of the district elections that has come under intense criticism.

"There have been many complaints regarding the district elections, so the electoral commission has paused any results further, until further review," said Chairman Hamari.

Haqsoor Chairman, Hassan Isse stated on Saturday that he had given a formal complaint to the electoral commission to review the votes in Hargeisa. He stated on BBC Somali radio that there was "mismanagement" and "corruption" in the district elections.

There are 25 seats up for grabs in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland.

Many angry Somaliland residents have called for a reshuffle of the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

Although opinion in Somaliland about the district elections and the electoral commission is divided, Haqsoor Chairman, Mr. Isse said that he was going to uphold the law and let the NEC rectify the results.

According to Somaliland media, political leaders and the electoral commission agreed that only some of the ballot boxes in the Hargeisa district elections would be recounted.

After police imposed a curfew in south Hargeisa on Friday, business was back to normal the following day.

Located in northwestern Somalia, Somaliland's separatist administration unilaterally declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not been recognized internationally.

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