“I urge citizens to exercise their democratic and constitutional rights peacefully, asked the National Election Commission to act impartially in their duties while calling upon the contesting parties to accept results honourably” President Silanyo
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Citizens continue to cast votes for their party of choice and candidates in ongoing local council elections.
Nationwide reports indicate that some voters in various cities, towns and trading centres were at their respective pooling centres as early as 9 pm last night.
To kick of the ballot for the country’s second ever local council elections was the head of state H.E Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo who cast his vote at the polling centre established at the Civil Service Hall in Hargeisa where hundreds of citizens continue to vote.
The president who left his official residence which is about 400 metres on foot was accompanied by senior government and ruling Kulmiye party officials.
Upon casting his vote Dr Silanyo who urged citizens to exercise their democratic and constitutional rights peacefully, asked the National Election Commission to act impartially in their duties thus ensure the elections are conducted in a free and fair manner as well as expedite release of results that should reflect, exactly, the wishes of the people.
On the issue of amicable and peaceful conclusion to the elections, Dr Silanyo the head of state who informed that only three parties shall succeed out of the seven contesting ones called upon the leaders of the four party that shall lose to honourable accept results, Said he, “In every contest their winners and losers”
Dr Silanyo revealed that his Kulmiye party shall accept defeat honourable if the people who overwhelmingly voted for the ruling party during the presidential elections of 2010 decide otherwise.
Upon casting thier ballots in various parts of the country,Leaders of political parties contesting the elections also asked their supporters and citizens in general to excercise their democratic rights in peace while urging NEC to act impartial thus deter any actions that might impinge on prevalent security.
Meanwhile the elections are going smoothly in most polling centres of the country where both local and international observers are keeping a sharp eye for irregularities which if any are yet to be disclosed.
Though the exercise is proceeding smoothly in general a number of complications have been reported in some polling centres in Hargeisa, Gabile, Burao etc where the supplied ballot papers are finished and NEC has not replenished them while voters continue to queue in defiance demanding immediate resupply thus enable them their democratic rights.
Up to now it is exactly not clear if NEC shall provide more ballot papers and if it does if the election body shall extend voting hours beyond the 6pm deadline thus compensate for the hours lost awaiting ballot papers replenishment.
As for Hudun town in Sool region where elections were to take place for the first ever, armed thugs under the patronage of Abdirahman Farole of Puntland are reported to have attacked pooling stations thus the cancelling of voting. Somalilandsun is yet to confirm the purported cancelling though a statement from NEC is imminent.
Similarly in some eastern parts of Sanaag region where the same Farole leader of the Puntland tribal enclave is reported to have financed heavily armed thugs who our yet to be confirmed reports indicate managed to deter the undertaking of the voting exercise in Badhan, Dahar and Hadaftimo district centres. Both NEC and the Interior ministry are yet to release official statements.
Keep abreast with Election proceedings with ongoing updates from Somalilandsun.com