More than a million citizens of Somaliland, a quarter of the population, are registered in the historic parliamentary and local elections on Monday, the first since 2005, to ward off the ghosts of war.
The republic, which is actually considered a semi-autonomous region, enjoys neither the formal recognition of a country in the world nor the United Nations, but has good relations with several neighboring countries, particularly Ethiopia, and is considered to be one of the most stable, interior doors, from the Horn of Africa.
After the Republic of Somaliland gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, it joined former Somalia, which was colonized by Italy, to form the Republic of Somalia. After years of violent conflict, the Somaliland people withdrew from the republic in 1991 and restored their sovereignty. However, the country’s application to join the Commonwealth and the African Union is still pending.
A total of 246 candidates aspiring to 82 seats in parliament, in addition to the 249 representatives at stake on the local council in the six regions in which 747 candidates are participating.
“It is an opportunity to show that a country that is not on a map and not recognized is doing things according to the rules,” Foreign Minister Edna Ismail said in comments to a group of observers gathered by the Nigerian newspaper. Premium Times’.
The elections on May 31 have an additional symbolic character: it is not just the first time that parliamentary and local elections will be held on the same day. It would also be 30 years since the country gained independence from the Somali Republic and 20 years since its first election.