Independent international team observing Somaliland’s elections deploys for polling day



Hargeisa, 30 May 2021
Independent international team observing Somaliland’s elections deploys for polling day
Ahead of Somaliland’s elections on 31 May 2021, an independent team of 12 international
observers is concluding its examination of the campaign and preparing for election day itself.
The limited international election observation mission (LIEOM) has been invited by Somaliland’s
National Electoral Commission (NEC) as independent international observers to observe the whole
electoral process. The mission is funded by the British government, but independent from it and
international in its nature. The LIEOM is organised by the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at
University College London. The LIEOM follows the Declaration of Principles for International
Election Observation, emphasising the impartiality of its observation.
These elections mark an important moment for democracy in Somaliland: after significant delays to
both polls, this is the first time that national and local elections have been combined. Short term
observers from Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, US and Zambia
have been observing the campaign and electoral preparations in the week leading up to the election.
They will observe voting, counting and tabulation of results in locations across Somaliland
including Hargeisa, Berbera, Burao and Borama.
The LIEOM will continue to observe the electoral process, including the tabulation and publication
of results, and any potential dispute resolution processes. The LIEOM will publish a report and
recommendations for future elections approximately four months after the election.
The final report of the LIEOM will focus on the mission’s wider analytical role beyond observation
of election day. As examples, part of the LIEOM’s mandate is to assess Somaliland’s new General
Law for National Elections and Voters’ Registration and its implementation. Other aspects to be
covered include the media landscape, inclusivity for women, minorities and persons with
disabilities, and the role played by civil society.
Says Professor Michael Walls of DPU, chief observer on the EOM:
“As the first election to combine two polls for both the House of Representatives and local councils,
this opportunity to choose representatives, coming so long after the expiry of the previous terms is
very important for Somalilanders. As a mission, we have observers in key locations around
Somaliland, observing campaigning and, very soon, voting, counting and tabulation of results. As
an independent, UK-funded mission, with observers and analysts from four continents, we will
continue to work independently of other bodies, looking at the legal regulations, electoral
procedures and their implementation. We are interested in the process, but not in the electoral
results, which are for the voters to decide.”
Media contacts: (Somaliland) +252 633 658 649 (international) + 44 7870 642 852


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