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Elections in Somaliland: Opposition parties win most seats | News

 

 

 

 
 

Two opposition parties in the breakaway region of Somalia announce a political alliance that ensures a parliamentary majority.

Two opposition parties in the breakaway Somaliland region of Somalia won the most seats in the region’s first parliamentary elections in 16 years, according to the National Election Commission.

Of the 82 seats in parliament, the Somaliland National Party, called Waddani, won 31 and the Justice and Welfare Party (UCID), 21 seats. The ruling Peace, Unity and Development Party, Kulmiye, won 30 seats, the electoral commission said on Sunday.

The vote had been stalled for a decade over a dispute between the three main parties over the composition of the electoral commission, which was ultimately resolved.

“Following the announcement of the election results, we have announced a political alliance to secure the speaker of the Somaliland parliament,” Waddani and UCID said in a joint statement, suggesting that they would appoint a president together.

The parties, which together also won the majority of seats in municipal races, said their goal is to collaborate in city councils across the region and select mayors together.

None of the 13 women who ran for parliament won their races.

‘Relative stability’

Politicians in the region had described the survey as an example of the relative stability of Somaliland, which separated from Somalia in 1991 but has not garnered widespread international recognition for its independence.

The region has been largely peaceful, while Somalia has faced three decades of civil war.

The three main parties presented a total of 246 candidates. More than a million of approximately four million residents had registered to vote, according to the electoral commission.

Presidential elections have been held in Somaliland, despite the parliamentary vote stalemate, the most recent in 2017 when Kulmiye party chairman Muse Bihi was elected. The next presidential vote is scheduled for next year.