Hargeisa (SD) – Opposition parties UCID and Wadani have succeeded in securing the release of illegally detained candidates by the Somaliland government.
The released candidates are Abdillahi Hassan Hirsi and Abdirahman Yusuf Ali of the UCID party and Qasim Adan Suleiman of the Wadani party.
UCID Information Secretary Yusuf Kayse Abdillahi confirmed to SD that there were three arrested UCID candidates and that two of them had been released.
The secretary-general added that the country’s electoral commission did not approve the third UCID candidate.
The UCID candidates were accused of falsifying their credentials, where Wadani candidate Qasim Adan Suleiman was targeted for having ties to the Somali government.
The leaders of the UCID and Wadani parties have been able to secure the release of their candidates through lobbying to the international community.
The Somaliland government, which has previously insisted on prosecuting the candidates, has not yet commented on their reasons for releasing the opposition candidates.
Somaliland election stakeholders have welcomed the release of opposition candidates.
“We welcome the release of the opposition candidates and call on the Police to refrain from acts that may undermine the freedoms and rights of candidates.” said the country’s Human Rights Centre.
It is unclear the government’s position on other candidates who have been threatened with imprisonment.
Somaliland will hold the long delay local council and parliamentary elections on May 31st.
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