Voting Begins in Somaliland in Third Presidential Election Since 2003.


Polling stations have opened in the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland for the third presidential election since 2003.

A VOA Somali reporter in Hargeisa, Barkhad Kariye, says he saw long lines, with some people waiting since 3:00 a.m.

“They wanted to be the first to cast their ballot, people want to make sure they vote before polling stations close,” Kariye said.

The electoral commission has urged people to prioritize the elderly and the vulnerable. There are 1,642 polling stations were voters will cast their ballots.
Security is tight as Somaliland security chiefs have encouraged the public to go about their business and vote.

“We would like to tell the public that the external and domestic security has been secured, they should sleep in peace, do their business in peace and live in peace, we are going to execute our duty,” chief of staff of the Somaliland army General Nuh Ismail Tani said.

Tani vowed that army chiefs will serve whoever is elected president of Somaliland.

“We are obliged to be obey whoever is elected. Right now we are not sure who is going to win so all three of you have our respect, but we appeal to you to care for the interest of the public and keep the peace,” he said to the candidates.

The commander of Somaliland Police, General Abdullahi Fadal Iman, said the movement of the traffic is restricted but borders will not be closed.

“The border is only closed to the enemy,” he told journalists in Hargeisa.

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