Somaliland: “Swerves on the Road” Part 7: Opening of voting

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Excerpt VII Opening of votingWaiting to vote

Somalilandsun – The International Election Observer-IOE Mission to the 2012 local council elections released its final report titled “Swerves on the Road” contained in 40 pages herein published chapter by chapter on a daily basis with a link for those readers interested in reading earlier excerpts or downloading the entire report.

Excerpt I Introduction

Excerpt II Previous election observation & Local council elections 2012

Excerpt III The international election observation mission

Excerpt IV An election observer’s experience: a personal reflection

Excerpt V The media

Excerpt VI Assessment of Election Day

Opening of voting

Observers positively evaluated opening procedures in more than two thirds of polling stations visited, demonstrating that most polling station staff had a good understanding of what was needed to begin voting. In almost all cases ballot boxes were correctly sealed after being shown as empty to party agents and observers present. However, at almost half of stations visited, voting was not ready to begin at 7am, either due to polling station staff taking longer than anticipated to complete opening procedures or, in the case of some stations in Sanag, due to the late arrival of ballot papers and other electoral materials. In most cases, substantial queues of voters had already formed at polling stations by 7am, and for the most part, people waited patiently for voting to begin.

Given the number of polling stations in Hargeisa particularly, and the thousands of staff involved, a degree of disorganisation was not surprising in that city. As the day progressed, though, IEOs observed a general improvement in the process. There were, however, apparently isolated irregularities: for example, observers noted in one instance a ballot box being removed from a polling station by unidentified men who loaded the box into a private, unmarked car and sped off. While we suspect that this was a good faith attempt by the NEC to distribute ballot papers better geographically in the city, it did not appear to follow due procedure.

While the full report shall be published chapter by chapter on a daily basis interested readers can down load the full report “SWERVES ON THE ROAD” AS SOMALILAND CONTINUES TO DRIVE ITS DEVELOPING DEMOCRACY FORWARD here

Earlier excerpts

Excerpt I Introduction

Excerpt II Previous election observation & Local council elections 2012

Excerpt III The international election observation mission

Excerpt IV An election observer’s experience: a personal reflection

Excerpt V The media

Excerpt VI Assessment of Election Day

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