Somalia’s breakaway region, Somaliland, has postponed it’s presidential election and has scheduled it to hold next year instead of holding it in November, when the incumbent president’s term ends.
Deadly protests erupted in the region in August, with protesters calling for elections in November, especially as they collectively suspected President Muse Bihi Abdi of wanting to delay the election and extend his term.
The election will now take place nine months from October – or next July – as the currently planned date of November 13 “is not feasible due to time, technical and financial constraints,” the Somaliland National Electoral Commission (SLNEC) tweeted on Saturday.
Somaliland seceded from Somalia in 1991, but did not gain widespread international recognition for its independence. The region was mostly peaceful as Somalia faced three decades of civil war.
At least five people were killed and 100 injured in clashes between security forces and opposition protesters in August.
At a press conference following the SLNEC announcement, Wadani, one of the opposition parties that campaigned for the August protests, welcomed the new date.
“We welcome the decision … we congratulate them on ending the controversy over the presidential election,” Mohamud Aden Jama, the Wadani party’s information secretary, told a news conference.