SOMALILAND: President approves election date

SOMALILAND ELECTIONHARGEISA (Somalilandpress) — Somaliland President Dahir Rayale issued a decree today [Saturday 15th] saying presidential elections will be held on June 26, 2010, approving the proposed date by the NEC.

Mr Rayale said he accepted the National Electoral Commission’s decision, just a day after the independent seven-member body called for the June date.

Presidential elections have been delayed tree times since early 2008 due to technical problems and registration fraud including widespread multiple registration. Since then the entire NEC members have been replaced, who since fixed the voter registration list and determined the number of legitimate voters. They also issued new biometric cards that can be used as voter cards and national ID cards.

As well as going to the polling stations, Somaliland will celebrate 26 June to mark 50 years of independence from Great Britain.

Somaliland has also stepped up security ahead of the election as elements of Somalia’s Islamists and tribal militants based in Puntland threaten to disrupt the democratic process in the region.

A report Somalilandpress has obtained said the Northern Somalia Unionist Movement (NSUM) was trying to instigate violence in the disputed Sool region with the backing of Somalia’s Islamist insurgents. It added, it had so far gathered at least 600 militants near the Somaliland-Puntland border.

Somalilandpress has learned the leader of the armed group, Dr. Suleyman Ise [ Hagle tosiye], a Canadian citizen, has arrived in the disputed Galgaduud region in central Somalia to get material and financial support from radical groups. It added Dr. Suleyman crossed from the Kenyan border by road striking separate deals with Islamists before reaching the town of Abduwaq after Puntland refused him an entry to Garowe. Both groups say Somaliland’s democracy undermines Somalia’s unity and Islamic values and those follow such practice are “infidels”.

In late March, the Kenyan police arrested him and two others after they sneaked into the country from Gedo on suspicious of terrorism activities. They have since managed to raise enough money from their supporters in the Diaspora including United States.

Somaliland has far managed to keep Somalia’s radical groups and pirates at bay but many fear the Islamist allied with the tribal insurgents such as NSUM in Sool will try to spoil the process.

Somalilandpress | Saturday, May 15, 2010

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