Somaliland are embarking on their first Presidential Election since 2010.
Taking place on November 13, three candidates – Faysal Ali Warabe of UCID party, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi of Waddani party and Muse Bihi Abdi, of the ruling Kulmiye party – are competing to replace Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud “Silanyo”, the current head of state.
Advanced voter registration technology is being used this year to counter election fraud, and international election observers will be present to report on the polling day updates via SMS.
Using iris-recognition software, authorities hope that this will guard against electoral fraud in a contest that has been delayed for more than two years due to voter registration issues, lack of funding and drought.
Last month, Somaliland announced that it would restrict access to social media sites during the upcoming Presidential Elections – asking phone companies to block more than a dozen social media outlets in order to limit hate speech and “fake news”. Those blocked include Facebook, Twitter,WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Duo, Google Plus, among others.
The self-declared state gained independence from Somalia in 1991 following a bloody civil way, many have noted that the last five elections have been largely peaceful. However, the fact that the state is not officially recognised by any other country make Somaliland’s political situation complex.
The Somali Federal Government in Mogadishu lays claim to the self-declared state.