For today’s Somaliland update, we bring you an account of the recent Somaliland local elections as well as a look at Somaliland’s praise of a spokesman for Somaliland recognition from the UK, showing how in stark contrast to the problems of Somalia in achieving legitimate government, Somaliland has a stable democracy that is the envy of the region and a model for its neighbors. In both words and deeds, Somaliland has shown itself to be a functioning and stable nation with legitimate governing practices despite considerable logistical challenges, and those efforts ought to be celebrated widely by those who claim an interest in seeing the Horn of Africa prosper. Considering how many regimes in the area struggle with forming legitimate government or holding free and fair elections, it is a model that deserves to be better known.
Somaliland Holds Free And Fair Local Elections
The AFP reports that Somaliland has held free and fair local elections, the results of which will be reported in a few days after the ballots have been counted . In contrast to the anarchy that has gripped Somalia now for more than two decades, Somaliland has a long history of disciplined self-rule, even if that history has been seldom noted by the world at large. The local elections in Somaliland this time were contested by seven parties, as multiparty democracy continues to expand in Somaliland, with over 2300 people contesting 379 positions. The effort was cautiously praised for its pluralism and for the vigorous and open campaigning by an international observing effort led by British foreign aid agency Progressio. Despite the name sounding a bit too progressive for me, it is a good account nonetheless.
Of course, there were some concerns noted that highlight the challenges of democracy in impoverished nations like Somaliland. Among these concerns included an absence of voter registration lists as well as a shortage of indelible ink. These weaknesses provided the possibility of multiple voting, and are certainly issues to be concerned about. They also highlight the logistical challenges of holding elections in some of the most destitute parts of the world, where the paperwork and supplies that the West takes for granted are lacking. Hopefully Somaliland can find the resources through recognition and economic development to provide the safeguards necessary to ensure that their budding republic remains free and fair. Their efforts in the face of serious challenges (including their isolation from the international community) deserve praise and support, and hopefully soon they can hold a free and fair internationally recognized plebiscite on independence so that they can take their deserved spot in the United Nations and other international institutions as they desire to do.
Praise For UKMP Sir Tony Baldry
Somaliland247 reports that UKMP Sir tony Baldry has won the 2012 Somaliland Community Achievement Award for his efforts to support Somaliland recognition in the United Kingdom . Hopefully those efforts soon bear fruit, and hopefully he enjoys his award and the praise of the people of Somaliland for his service to their nation.
Note: We will try to post the results of the Somaliland local elections as soon as those results are available.