Joint Statement by International Partners on the Somaliland Elections

Position, 22.11.2017

The International partners are following closely the ongoing electoral process in Somaliland, leading to the election of a new President. A high-level delegation visited a number of polling stations in Hargeisa, on 13 November 2017, to demonstrate the international partners’ support for the democratic process in Somaliland.

International partners note that 60 international election observers witnessed the opening, voting, closing and tallying procedures at some 350 polling stations. 620 local observers were also able to observe proceedings in over 40% of polling stations. Observers praised the smooth and peaceful conduct of voting and, despite areas of concern, concluded that irregularities were not on a scale such that they would undermine the integrity of the electoral process.

International partners deeply regret the loss of life caused by violent protests in certain locations in the days that followed Election Day.

We commend the vital role played by the National Electoral Commission and take note of the announcement of preliminary results today by the NEC declaring the Presidential Candidate of Kulmiye, Mr Musa Bihi Abdi, as the winner of the elections. Following this announcement, International Partners call on all parties to contribute to the respect of peace and order in Somaliland and to pursue any electoral complaints through the legally established channels and institutions. We reiterate that upholding the rule of law should be the primary objective for all in order to ensure the respect of the will of the Somaliland voters.

We wish to congratulate all Somalilanders on the exercise of their right to vote in a peaceful and responsible manner on 13 November 2017.

This Statement was signed by the following partners: Belgium, Denmark, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States.