Somaliland: Election Hiccups No Longer Newsworthy

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Hirsi and Behi then loyal ministers flank president Silanyo (C) during a recent visit to Europe

Somalilandsun – Although Somaliland is famed for its regular, peaceful elections – an oasis of peace and democracy in a region usually associated with authoritarianism and conflict – almost every election in its history has been subject to lengthy delays.

Somaliland’s last parliamentary elections, for example, were conducted in 2005, meaning that the current crop of representatives have served for five years longer than intended. The last presidential election (won by Silanyo), was originally scheduled for March 2008, but only took place more than two years after.

True to form, then, Somaliland’s upper house of parliament – the Guurti, or House of Elders – unilaterally extended the term of Silanyo’s internationally unrecognised government by 22 months, over the protests of opposition parties notes an analysis by Simon Alison titled Is Somaliland Still a Good News Story?

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