Washington (SD) – A senior US diplomat, in a recent publication, discusses development efforts in Somaliland, with a particular focus on elections.
“On May 31st, the people of Somaliland went to the polls to participate in long-delayed parliamentary and municipal elections. The largely autonomous region in the north of Somalia, which had a different colonial history from the rest of the country and declared its independence in 1991, is building an impressive history of credible elections and peaceful transfers of power.” Wrote Michelle Gavin.
Michelle Gavin, a former US ambassador to Botswana with extensive international experience, in an article published on Council on Foreign Relations, described her views on Somaliland government, which has not yet been recognized by the international community.
“Somaliland is not perfect; no place on earth is. But in the midst of regional crisis and global democratic backsliding, Somaliland’s achievements and dogged commitment to its principles deserve more notice.” Gavin wrote.
In her article, she compared the people of Somaliland to those in Somalia, describing the Somaliland government as weak, because it is not able to deal with other governments and international financial institutions.
“While Somalilanders were peacefully making their will clear at the ballot box, giving opposition parties control of Somaliland’s parliament, citizens in the rest of Somalia continued coping with a government that provides little in the way of security or services, depends on African Union peacekeepers and international aid, and too often cannot seem to agree on even the most basic parameters of its political system.” Michelle Gavin explained in her peace.
Michelle Gavin wrote about elections in Somaliland, such as the recent House of Representatives and local council elections, and said that Somaliland continues to hold leaders accountable at the ballot box.
The former ambassador praised the democratic process in Somaliland, noting that at a time when the region is in crisis and the practice of democracy is being avoided, Somaliland will continue to do so.
Michelle Gavin says Somaliland’s democratic system is rebuke for those who believe that tensions in the Somaliland region can only be resolved through dictatorship.
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