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Somaliland president calls for peace as election kicks off

HARGEISA (Halbeeg News) – Somaliland president Muse Bihi Abdi has called for peace as thousands lined up for voting to elect new lawmakers and councilors.

Queues build up in various regions of the breakaway territory amid enthusiasm as international media turned focus to Somaliland.

Early this morning, Bihi and Waddani party leader Abdirahman Irro have cast their votes at Somaliland Labour House in Hargeisa town.

Speaking to the media after voting, Bihi expressed optimist noting today’s vote was a vindication of growing democracy and peace.

“Vote peacefully; these are two important electoral processes, all eyes are on us, please execute your rights in good manner,” Bihi said while addressing journalists at Labour House alongside Irro.

Waddani party leader Abdirahman Irro said the elections were a victory for Somaliland.

“”I am pleased today that I voted for the two seperate candidates I have chosen from the candidates vying for house of representatives and councilor,” Irro said.

According to the electoral commission, SLNEC, 246 candidates are vying for a seat in the 82 member House of Representatives while 552 candidates will be contesting in the local government elections spread in 23 districts.

Meanwhile, observers from the region and beyond have trooped to the break-away region.

Notable figures include former Sierra Leone president Ernest Koroma and former Ugandan opposition chief Kizza Besigye.

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