International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

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Book Chapter | Political Science | Somalia | Volume 13 Issue 4, April 2024 | Rating: 4.9 / 10

Somaliland Elections: Successes and Flaws

Abdihakim Osman Ali [2]

Abstract: Somaliland, a British protectorate, united with Somalia Italia on July 1st 1960 to form a greater Somalia nation. Somaliland reclaimed its independence from Somalia on May 18th 1991 after 30 years of Siyad Bare Regime oppression, genocide and atrocities. In 30 years, Somaliland one of the most stable countries and the second-best democracy in the Horn after Kenya. Without any external assistance, Somaliland introduced homegrown solutions to build a modern state from ashes and created a nation that stands on its own feet in search of international recognition. A series of grand reconciliation conferences and a national charter were created to remedy the social contract and enable a smooth, consensual transition from the rebel-led administration to a civil government representing all clans. In 2001, Somaliland's first Constitution was ratified by 97% of voters and this was the first step toward liberal democracy and multiparty system. Eight free, fair, and credible local council elections have been held since December 2002 when the first election happen. The most recent was the May 31, 2021 combined House of Representatives and local council election. Amazing election outcomes. Amongst others, the current President's ruling party was defeated in a broad daylight and the barrier to minority clan was breached with record. Likewise, Elections in Somaliland are imperfect. An unelected body of pure clan representatives known as the Guurti, House of Elders, holds Somaliland's electoral democracy hostage. Being the only House that is mandated to extend elected institutions' term, it afforded to make 32 extensions including the most recent when it extended its tenure by five years ending 2027 and to that of President by two years ending 2024. In fact, by the time their current term ends, the Guurti will become the only unelected House serving for almost 30 years. Somaliland's miraculous democracy relies on this House. House?s actions on elections are often disastrous and pose the fragile post conflict country to political, security and socioeconomic disarray. In practice, term extensions undermine unity, social cohesion, political stability, and security in every election, particularly presidential elections. The aftermath of extensions was witnessed later this 2022 when Guurti extended President?s term to almost two years. Going forward, the government must reinstate the Guurti election bill and organize for Guurti elections before their term ends in 2027. This may avert delays, restore Guurti?s credibility and keep elections on track. This is only the preview; the chapter will go into greater detail later.

Keywords: Somaliland, elections, guurti, democracy

Edition: Volume 13 Issue 4, April 2024,

Pages: 1181 - 1187

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