26 December 2012

Somalia: Somaliland Announces Three Official Political Parties

Hargeisa — Authorities in Somalia's separatist region of Somaliland has announced the region's three official political parties following the results of November's local elections, Garowe Online reports.

A well-organized event was held Wednesday at Hotel Mansoor in Hargeisa, the administrative capital of Somaliland.

Hassan Moallim, the Somaliland committee for registration of political associations spokesman, said that 18 political associations were registered and the second round included six political associations and the already-existing three political parties of Kulmiye ruling party, and UDUB and UCID opposition parties.

Mr. Moallim said that, according to local election results, Kulmiye, UCID and Wadani had received most votes and have been approved as Somaliland's new three official political parties for the next 10 years, in accordance with Somaliland constitution.

He noted that four political associations that did not qualify as political parties are Ummah, Rays, Haqsoor, and Dalsan political associations.

Abdirizak Jama Omar, Somaliland committee for registration of political associations, warned that future elections in Somaliland should be based on proper registration of voters, to avoid election fraud. The committee awarded the unqualified political associations with honorary mention for the efforts to compete in local elections.

Separately, supporters of Haqsoor political association staged a minor protest in Hargeisa following Wednesday's announcement. Last month, Haqsoor supporters' protests turned violent in Hargeisa.

Also on Wednesday, Somaliland Finance Minister Abdiaziz Mohamed Samale presented a US$185million 2013 proposed budget to Somaliland Parliament and Somaliland MPs are expected to debate the new proposed budget. The minister said the proposed budget includes 'national' and local budget for 2013.

Located in northwestern Somalia, Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 but has not been recognized internationally.

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