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US, Int’l partners “disappointed” at Somailand electoral delays

The United States and several international countries are “disappointed by Somaliland electoral delays”, according to a press release issued by the US Mission to Somalia.

“Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and the United States are deeply disappointed by the Guurti’s decision to delay further Somaliland’s electoral cycle, unilaterally extending the government’s term beyond even the dates requested by government.”

The press release comes on the heels of a controversial decision by the Guurti to further postpone the presidential elections to November 2017, and the parliamentary elections until 2019.

Political parties in Somaliland agreed in January to delay the presidential elections for six months to better focus on the crippling drought in there territory.

The changes alarmed many of Somaliland’s donors who expressed their concerned about the Guurti’s respect for democracy.

“These delays undermine democratic progress in Somaliland and have caused serious concern among international partners about the government’s credibility and respect for democratic norms. We note that Parliamentarians will have been in office 14 years without an election under this plan, more than twice the constitutional limit. “

The press release warns Somaliland that donors will not cover the costs that delays will incur to Somaliland’s election.

The Guurti is the Upper House of Elders in Somaliland’s hybrid governance system that combines traditional authority with modern democratic governance.

In May 2015, the Guurti unilaterally announced the first two-year extension to the current administration’s term.

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