Three organisations involved in the observation process for long-awaited elections in Somaliland have welcomed the announcement of provisional results in the presidential poll, held on 26 June 2010.
The Somaliland National Electorial Commission’s (NEC) findings – which are not yet final – indicate that Mr Ahmed Silanyo of the Kulmiye party has won the election, defeating the incumbent, President Dahir Riyale Kahin of the UDUB party and Mr Faisal Ali Waarabe of the UCID party.
The UK-based organisations (international development organisation, Progressio, the Development Planning Unit at University College London and Somaliland Focus) were invited by the NEC in January 2009 to act as coordinators of the international observation mission for the election in the internationally-unrecognised republic.
In a statement issued on 1 July 2010, they declared: "The mission congratulates Mr Ahmed Silanyo and the Kulmiye party and extends its best wishes to President Riyale for his many years of service to Somaliland, and for the dignity and leadership he has shown during his years in office. In particular, the mission commends his statesmanship over the past 24 hours. Congratulations are also due to Mr Faisal, and indeed to all the candidates, for their adherence to the democratic process in Somaliland.
"Despite the many delays in the run-up to the election, the mission would like to point out that the days prior to polling day – and polling day itself – were notable for their spirit of peacefulness and goodwill. The election observation mission hopes that the same spirit will prevail in the days leading up to the confirmation of the final result and beyond. It is hoped, too, that Somaliland’s political leaders, and their supporters, accept the final results, as they have pledged to do.
"The observation mission believes any other course of action would be detrimental to the welfare of Somaliland’s people and the nation’s democratic future. The mission looks forward to being able to pass its final judgement on the Somaliland 2010 presidential election in its final election report."
Progressio is the former Catholic Institute for International Relations.